What to do when a bra has reached the natural end of its life? If you're a D-cup girl like me, you say a few words, weep a bit and maybe play a bugle because that patch of lace-and-wire hydraulics has done you (and society as a whole, really) a terrific service. But these days, we have to stop and think about anything before it goes in the trash: Can it be recycled? That old nasty bra? Why yes, yes it can.
The Bra Recyclers is a a textile recycling company that works to recycle and reuse bras that would otherwise be destined for the landfill. They buy and sell these bras and then redistribute them to women in developing nations worldwide. They also work with local charities - including women's shelters - that provide support and clothing to those in need here in the US and Canada.
If you are considering donating, remember that all bras must be in good working condition - all clasps and straps functional. They are interested in bras of any size or style, including specialty-needs: post-breast surgery, maternity, etc. If the bras are brand new, they ask that you do not remove the tags so that the recipient can see they are unused.
There are several ways to donate. First, check out the map to see if there any are drop-off locations near you in the US and Canada. Or simply drop it in the mail, following these steps:
Make sure the bra is washed.
Fill out the Bra Recycling Form and print out the PDF.
Package the bra and form in a box or large envelope and mail it to:
3317 S. Higley Rd, Ste 114-441
Gilbert, AZ 85297
You can become a Bra Recycling Ambassador where you host events ("bra drives") in your community in an effort to reduce waste while helping women all over the world.
Also, keep in mind that October is Bra Recycling Month so now's a good time to gather up a bunch of beauties for the next chapter of their lives. If you recycle bras in October, you'll be entered to win prizes such as:
- $25 Soma Intimates Gift Certificates (4 prizes)
- $25 American Express Gift Cards (3 prizes) provided by The Bra Recyclers
- $50 Off Leading Lady Lingerie Order (4 prizes)
- 15% Off Any Leading Lady Lingerie Order During October
- 3 $25 Gift Certificates for Restaurant.com provided by JGS Travel
- 10 Bra and Panty Sets provided by Affinitas Intimates
- $50 gift certificate from Bodacious Boutique
More details here.
This is one company but I'd love to hear about others, as well as other creative uses for bras. Keeping bras (and other textiles) out of the landfill and in circulation is the goal but if such efforts can also help people, double win!
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