Over $30 billion of lingerie is sold every year and the majority of it is sitting in drawers unused or tossed into landfills. Did you know that you can recycle or donate a bra to good causes, no matter where you are, around the world? Check out the links below for easy ways to recycle your bra.
Why recycle your bra?
More than 85% of textiles sold end up in landfills. Recycling clothes helps to reduce greenhouse gases, saves landfill space and conserves energy. Due to complex manufacturing that using extreme amounts of electricity and water, making lingerie is energy intensive. You can ensure that things to do go to waste.
And recycling is easy!
Check out the below list for something near you. Location is no excuse, as many offer mail-in options (some are even free).
Feel good while recycling lingerie: support a cause you love
Many of the bra recycling companies support charities around the world. There are connections to all kinds of social issues: everything from human trafficking, small business support in Africa breast cancer research, the environment, homeless and women’s charity organizations. Feel good and pick a cause near and dear to your heart to support with your recycling. Help your neighbours with your recycling!
Easy Ways to Recycle Bras
Check out organization or click through to the individual links for more information. As always, this is only what I found online, not a paid advertisement nor a specific recommendation.
Bra Recycling Agency: Request a free label to mail in your bras to be pulverized into fibres to make red carpets for high end events. Magnets pull off the metal pieces of bras for separate recycling and proceeds support breast cancer research.
Bra Recycling: Support women and girls escaping domestic violence, human trafficking or surviving breast cancer without the necessary insurance with your gently used or new bras. Drop off options exist across US and Canada or free labels to mail in your bra through:
Against Breast Cancer: Support breast cancer research and small businesses in Africa through UK based bra banks.
Support Developing Countries
Free the Girls: Help stop human trafficking in Mozambique, El Salvador and Costa Rica by dropping off or mailing in your gently used or new lingerie.
Smalls for All: support women and girls in orphanages, slums, IDP camps and schools in Africa by sending new bras and panties to Scottish based charity.
Women in Need
I Support the Girls: Support homeless women with bras and women’s hygiene products in the US through.
Uplift Bras: Australia, New Zealand and Singapore based bra collection by drop off or mail in for women in need across the South Pacific Islands.
Dress for Success: Help women in need find professional clothes through 152 locations around the world. They accept unused lingerie, hosiery and control undergarments and are particularly looking for larger sizes.
Knickey: Donate your underwear to be recycled into insulation or rug pads.
H&M: If you live near an H&M retail clothing outlet, they take back and recycle clothing of all brands and conditions.
DIY recycling for sewers: Do a google search for sewing scrap busting options. My current sewing plans include making this pouf (aka footstool) stuffed full of old clothes.
US Specific Locations:
Bras Received and Shared (BRAS): If you happen to be in Little Rock, Arkansas, check out BRAS, a local group of women who collect, wash and donate to groups in need in Arkansas.
Be a Dear and Donate a Brassiere: managed by the San Josee Women’s Club collects bras for homeless and at-risk women in drop off locations across California
Local bra donation options
Support local organizations in your community through:
- Women’s Shelters typically accept gently worn clothing, including bras. Search for on in your community and check on their donation policies and drop off locations
- Local charity/second-hand shops, like Oxfam or Goodwill often have clothing donation boxes that accept lingerie. Some even offer tax receipts.
- Lingerie retailers may participate in donation programs, bra drives or know what other options for recycling bras exist around your area.
- Search online for clothing drives or women’s hygiene charities in your area