Ever wondered what you can do with your unwanted bra? Some people donate but did you know there are ways you can recycle bras too ?
For a lot of us, bras we no longer wear end up in the dark corners of our drawers or maybe in the bin, which is a real waste.
Have a look in your underwear drawer, how many bras do you have that you haven’t worn in years that are probably still in good condition? And there could be so many reasons; because it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t feel right, it’s the wrong colour, it’s the wrong size, your body shape has changed?
My body shape changed a lot after having my daughter (and during), I had to regularly buy new bras as well as maternity bras. Naively, I thought my shape will go back to normal but that wasn’t the case. I was left with a lot of lightly used bras that no longer fit me and I didn’t know what to do with them.
I recently found a link to Harper’s Bazaar, which reports that an astounding 80% of women are wearing the wrong size bra. That’s huge!
How many of us know how to pick the right fitting bra or even been shown? It’s certainly something I wasn’t ever taught. I remember just going into a bra shop and trying on various bras until I found something that did the job. I was always too shy to ask for assistance.
Additionally, it’s recommended that you should have a bra fitting every six-month because our bodies can change and last thing we need is to be wearing a bra that doesn’t provide the support we need.
We are all aware of the textile waste problem caused by the fashion industry and giving your old bra a second life is one of the best sustainable solutions available as it reduces your carbon footprint, finds a new home for your preloved bras and avoids landfill.
Recycle Bras – Who does it help?
Donating and recycling bras are a great way to give your old bra a new lease of life and can really help someone.
There are numerous organisations that have a facilities that work with smaller charities by donating them to disadvantaged communities. Not only that, they can also help homeless women and many underwear companies have teamed up with recycling partners to ensure bra donations go to the people who desperately need them.
Recycle Bras and donations – where can I drop them off?
There are many donation site and drop-off locations; domestic violence shelters, local shelters and homeless shelters around the country as well as postal options available where you can donate gently-used bras or even old bras. Give your old bra a new life and help women who need them.
Against Breast Cancer offer a collection scheme where you can recycle bras. They take our unwanted bras which helps them to raise money for vital breast cancer research.
Their website states “For every tonne of bras collected, Against Breast Cancer receives £700 to fund our research”
There is a button on their website which helps you find your nearest bra bank or you can post your unwanted and unloved bras to the following address
Against Breast Cancer
13 Napier Court
Abingdon, OXON, OX14 3YT
Please note, this isn’t a FREEPOST service, please ensure you put the correct postage on your jiffy bag. Additionally, don’t forget that Breast Cancer awareness month is held annually in October.
Bravissimo recycle bras as they accept donations in-store, these donations are collected by a company who sort through the bras. In addition, for every kilogram of bras they receive in donations, they donate the money Coppafeel. An absolutely fantastic charity the promotes the importance of breast awareness; how to check your breasts and what signs and symptoms to look out for.
I was curious where the bras are sent so I contacted them and they were kind enough to reply with the following:
“40% to Western Europe, 30% to Africa, 16% to Eastern Europe. Items that are not considered wearable will be broken down and re-used in other forms such as the padding used in insulation”
Your Smalls Appeal are a small UK charity which was set up in January 2016 as an ‘initiative to empower girls around the world’ by supporting women and girls in developing countries. Not only do they accept lightly worn bras, they also accept and donate menstrual hygiene products and menstruation kits.
So many girls around the world are missing out on their education because of their periods, this shouldn’t be happening. They’ve helped so many women and girls in villages in Africa. More recently, in 2022, they provided thousands of bras and much-needed menstrual products to help Ukrainian women and girls within Leicestershire.
Please check out their website and get in touch with them to see how you can help, they also accept donations on their website
Charity shops are a great place to donate your unwanted bras. Many charity shops are always on the lookout for more donations and they raise money for various specific charities and vital research including support to breast cancer survivors.
There are some charity shops that tend to be inundated with donations as they are usually limited on space, therefore, please speak to your local charity shop first.
These are just a handful of great options of how you can get involved and help people in your local community and further afield to help others have a better life. Your old bra many not be a perfect fit for you but there are plenty of places your unwanted items can have a positive impact.
Please ensure the bras are in good condition and can be worn by someone else. Social media is a great place to talk about this and share your donation. Next time you have a look through your drawer, think about checking out a recycling program near you.