Of all the things you think about recycling, bras certainly don’t often come to mind. One of the most intimate parts of a woman’s wardrobe, the thought of recycling bras can seem, well, a little weird.
That’s before you realize how much a recycled bra can change a life, though. Yes, even recycled bras can make a dramatic impact not only for Mother Earth, but also for women around the world.
Recycling bras – a good fit
With the expense of buying a bra, the foundation garments are one of the most requested items in shelters for women escaping domestic abuse or human trafficking, yet they are often not available.
Consider these stats…
- Women’s bras last, on average, for 6-9 months before losing their structure and support.
- The average woman owns 6 bras.
- That’s a lot of garments being thrown in the trash, especially when 95% of all textiles, including bras, can be recycled.
Here are some of the ways that you can recycle bras:
Breast Oasis This non-profit organization partners with stores such as Le Mystere and Bloomingdales for drop off locations, as well as affiliate drop off locations across the U.S. (such as doctor’s offices). They also accept donated bras through the mail. Through its innovative Bra Identification Number (B.I.N.), those that donate a bra could be in touch with the recipient if they would like, sending encouraging comments and support via anonymous messaging through the website.
The Bra Recyclers Known for accepting used bras both for textile recycling and for donating to women in transition around the world, this organization recycles underpinnings. Soma Stores across the U.S. have partnered with The Bra Recyclers for easy donation drop offs. Gently used bras can be mailed in, as well.
Free The Girls Working with women rescued from sex trafficking, Free The Girls accepts bra donations to help the women to start their own businesses. Recycled bras are accepted via fundraising events, local drop off locations across the U.S., and through the mail. More than 500,000 bras have been donated to the non-profit organization.
Bras For a Cause Supporting breast cancer survivors, Bras For A Cause accepts bras mailed in for donation, in addition to lingerie and swimming suits.
Goodwill and Resale Stores Store policies vary, but consider donating your gently used bras to a resale shop. If they cannot be resold as is, they could be sold for the textile fabric.
Feature image courtesy of Alba Soler