Give the Gift of Well-fitting Bras by Donating Your Unwanted Ones!
Happy Monday! This weekend the weather here was freezing and overcast, so I spent some time spring cleaning my wardrobe: emptying out my drawers and reorganizing, sorting through my closet, and piling up clothes for donation. (The nesting instinct is kicking in!) A part of that pile are the bras I excised from my lingerie drawer earlier this year as part of my New Year’s Brasolution. Some of the bras are hardly ever worn (internet purchase mistakes), some have served their duty. So what to do with these surplus bras if you aren’t planning on auctioning them off on ebay?
Happily, several organizations will gladly take them off your hands and put them to good use! So if you never got around to cleaning out your ill-fitting bras earlier this year, why not jump in now and make it part of your spring cleaning–and help other women who can’t afford the often higher price point of full-busted bras get the wonderful boost a good fitting bra can give?
Here are a few places you can send your bras:
- Support1000: This Chicago-based organization would love your new or gently used bras!
Begun in November 2008, they originally aimed to collect 1000 bras to donate to organizations that served women. They’ve way exceeded that with over 15,000 bras donated and then distributed to:
• homeless shelters
• job-readiness programs
• domestic violence shelters
• residential facilities for recovering addicts
• Native American communities
• communities in Kenya, Mali and Zimbabwe
• many other organizations and social services professionals who serve women
- The Bra Recyclers: This organization can take your new or used bras as long as they are in decent condition–i.e., straps and clasps need to be functional. Bras in good condition are donated to victims of domestic violence in the U.S. who often arrive at shelters with only the clothes on their back. “Having donations of good quality bras help[s] the women we house with not only their physical but their emotional outlook as well,” said a representative of one shelter who receives donated bras. CEO Elaine Birks-Mitchell told me they especially have a need for larger-sized bras as they always run out and have to ration them to the shelters they support.
What about bras you’re not sure are up to snuff? This is a good program to consider because they will recycle as much as they can if its not fit for wear:
Once acquired, clothing (e.g., bras) are sorted and graded based on condition. Once sorted, the used clothing is recycled in one of the following
• Used as apparel which is generally exported to least developed and developing countries where demand for secondhand clothing is particularly high.
• Recovered textiles become wiping and polishing cloths used in commercial and industrial settings.
• Reprocessed into fibers for furniture stuffing, upholstery, insulation, soundproofing, carpet padding, building and other materials.
• Donated to organizations in communities around the world to support efforts individuals in transition
• Is unusable and not for recycling
The Bra Recyclers has four easy steps to follow for donating your bras here.
- The Clothing Library: This organization got in touch with me after I originally posted about my New Year’s Brasolution, encouraging me to donate my unwanted bras. They are basically a lending “library” for clothing, including bras. The idea is really fascinating, so I have a guest post from founder Kim Slawson coming tomorrow to explain more about this interesting idea.
- Oxfam Big Bra Hunt: UK readers can donate their bras at their local Oxfam where they’ll either be resold in their shops or sent to Senegal to be sorted and sold at Frip Ethique. The money raised goes to help fight poverty in Senegal and around the world.
Did you know that there were so many cool organizations that could give your unwanted bras a new life? I can’t wait to send off my bra donation to help other women get the support–literally–they need. Join me!