1960s paper dresses were made in Asheville by Mars Manufacturing Co.


Mars Manufacturing Company launched Waste Basket Boutique in 1966.

“I tried one out and wore it three days, cleaned the house, mopped, waxed the floors, washed five girls’ heads, bathed the dogs and did everything else necessary in a house with five bedrooms, two baths, ten people and two dogs and it was still in one piece,” wrote a young California mother of eight to the Mars Manufacturing Company of Asheville complementing their new disposable product – the paper dress.

“When we get ready to paint, I will get another and save ruining a cotton house dress,” the woman continued. “Also, at canning season, I intend to have three or four, as I always ruin a couple of dresses with stain from something,”

The paper dress was first created in 1966 by Scott Paper Company as a marketing tool to increase sales of disposable paper products. Women could get a paper dress, branded a “Paper Caper,” by clipping a coupon from an advertisement in Seventeen magazine and sending it along with two proofs of purchase and $1.25 to Scott Paper Company’s offices in Philadelphia. Sears’ cotton dresses were $5-10 at that time.