WASTE NOT, WANT NOT...
By Danielle Daggett for Aspire Magazine (Blue Leaf Media Ltd) August/September 2020
Let’s be honest, we all stick to our favourites when it comes to underwear, leaving us with a drawer full of bras we're not making the most of!
Of course, you could bung them in the bin, but that’s such a waste. In the spirit of helping others and fighting the wasteful 'fast fashion' industry, why not donate them instead?
Here are a few charities (in no particular order) who can help you do just that...
1. AGAINST BREAST CANCER.
Through their network of bra banks, this UK based charity has a recycling scheme which takes your unwanted or unloved bras and raises vital funds for pioneering breast cancer research.
Together with recycling partners, their textile recovery project gives donated garments a new lease of life, helping to support small businesses in countries such as Togo, Ghana and Kenya, where bras are too expensive to produce locally.
Successful ventures like this keep many families in developing countries out of poverty whilst providing employment for people at home in the UK. Making the whole process even easier for you, bras in any condition will be gratefully received - any items that are genuinely beyond redemption are dismantled and disposed of responsibly.
For every tonne of bras collected, Against Breast Cancer receives £700 to fund their research.
find your local bra bank: www.againstbreastcancer.org.uk
Package and post to:
Recycling Scheme, Against Breast Cancer
Leathem House, 13 Napier Court, Barton Lane, Abingdon, OXON, OX14 3YT
2. SMALLS FOR ALL.
Making sure your underwear goes a long way, Scottish based charity Smalls For All collect and distribute new and “gently worn” bras (still in good condition and with good wear left in them). Bras of all shapes and sizes are accepted, including sports and nursing bras, but not teen, cropped-top style or bikini tops. Donations of new, unopened packets of ladies’ and children’s pants are also welcomed. Bras and new pants are passed on to women and girls in need, in both the UK and African countries.
Across Africa, SFA help those living in orphanages, slums, IDP (internally displaced persons) camps and schools, as well as those in hospitals suffering from medical conditions such as obstetric fistula.
"Giving pants and bras may seem like a small thing, but it can make a life-changing difference. A pair of pants, for example, could help a teenage girl in a developing country complete her education without having to miss school each month during her period. We also help charities that focus on alleviating poverty in the UK by providing them with much-needed underwear." - Maria Macnamara, Founder and CEO
FIND OUT MORE AND DONATE ONLINE: www.smallsforall.org
PACKAGE AND POST TO:
Smalls for All®
Five Sisters Business Park
Westwood, West Calder EH55 8PN
4. ‘Shwop Drop’.
Marks & Spencer encourage you to donate any old or unwanted bras (along with clothes and shoes) at stores across the UK. Through their work with Oxfam, M&S ensure no donated items end up in landfill. Recycled bras are sold in Oxfam stores or processed at Oxfam’s Wastesaver recycling facility in Batley, before being sent to 'Frip Ethique' the charity’s social enterprise project in Senegal. There, bras are sold on to over 500 local traders who re-sell them in their local communities.
FIND OUT MORE AT: www.marksandspencer.com and www.oxfam.org.uk
‘ZABRA – AfreeBra’ initiative is an international volunteer network, collecting pre-owned and new bras and panties for distribution to women who can't afford their own. They work closely with organisations who identify situations where women can benefit from receiving bras free of charge.
Search @AfreeBra on Facebook for more information.
PACKAGE AND POST TO:
ZABRA – AfreeBra initiative
Att: Jeanette Kruger
51 South Street, Isleworth TW7 7AA
If you feel your bras are too worn or broken to donate, search for your local textile recycling bank at www.recyclenow.com