I’ve generally ignored the advice to have a bra-fitting every 6 months, like most individuals who wear bras. And ultimately it came down to two things: one, of course I knew what size I was- I’ve been wearing these things basically everyday I know how it fits. And two, please don’t tell me I’ve spent all this money on bras and they don’t actually fit me properly.
So, when a close friend of mine bagged a job at a specialised lingerie store she kept insisting that I had to go in and get re-fitted for the first time in 5 years. I was sceptical. Then I was shocked. The bras I were wearing were 2 sizes too big in the back and 3 cups too small for the bras I should be wearing. And so began a very expensive shopping haul of bras that fit properly and gave real support. Thus, leaving me with a drawer full of my older wrong sized bras I’ve accumulated through the years AND new bras.
Where I usually donate unwanted clothes, I know from volunteering at charity shops in the past bras are usually refused and binned. So, is there a sustainable way to deal with unwanted bras? With some research, I found that there are definitely organisations that tackle this issue head on. Here are just some of them below:
Smalls for All
Smalls for All is an independent charity set up by Maria Macnamara. They work with a number of different organisations across Africa to distribute underwear to girls and women in poverty as well as to hospitals, orphanages and schools. The charity also works on an educational scheme in the areas they operate in order to disrupt and end the cycle of poverty.
The charity takes any new or gently worn bras of any size and distributes them to those who need them. Any bras not salvageable are sold to be recycled, and the proceeds go back into the charity. Smalls for All also accepts donations of packs of new underwear. To find out more please visit the organisation website: http://www.smallsforall.org/get-involved/
Against Breast Cancer
As the name suggests, Against Breast Cancer funds research into all things breast cancer including treatment, early diagnosis and support.
The charity recycles unwanted bras in two ways! Some are sent to small businesses in Togo, Ghana and Kenya where bras are sold and used there as the production of bras locally remain too expensive. Some collected bras which cannot be re-used are recycled and the funds created by this are fuelled back into the vital research. For more information: https://www.againstbreastcancer.org.uk/recycling/bra-recycling/
This chain of lingerie store works in partnership with the mental health charity Mind when it comes to their bra recycling scheme.
All bras of all sizes and conditions are accepted at donations bins in Bravissimo stores. Similarly to the other two organisations, reusable bras are sent to those who need them while those in lesser condition are recycled sustainably. For every kg collected, Bravissimo donates 70p to Mind, so every bra counts! More information can be found here: https://www.bravissimo.com/doing-our-bit/