Have you ever cleaned out your undies drawer and wondered what to do with your unwanted-but-perfectly-good bras?? Donating bras, like I did with other clothing items, was never the conclusion I reached until I recently read a blog post that shed light on The Bra Recyclers and Soma.com. Both of these organizations have related goals to decrease the number of bras entering our landfills, while providing substantial social benefits to women and girls in need.
Unfortunately, there are too many women suffering from domestic violence. Hopefully, they find a way to a shelter. Sometimes they may only have the clothes on their back. Shelters can help with professional clothes for job placement, but rarely bras. Since bras are the first step in feeling dressed and ready for the day, the need is great for women navigating a new way of life. The Bra Recyclers and Soma have met the need to help provide these necessary foundation garments.
The Bra Stats
Here are some interesting statistics I recently read from the above websites:
1.) The average women owns 6 bras but only wears 2.
2.) 8 out of 10 women are wearing the wrong size bra.
3.) 95% of clothing can be recycled but only 15% gets donated or recycled
4.) Bras are one of the most requested items in shelters
5.) One in four women will experience some form of domestic violence (Not a bra stat, but related to this subject)
Sobering stats, right? Soma started this work in 2010 and has partnered with National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV). Through Soma, there is donation program from Jan 9-Jan 31 where there is a $20 off a bra if you donate a bra. (Free bra fittings are available at Soma). Beyond January 31, you can donate bras to both locations by using their handy Geo-locator sites under ‘find boutique’ here and here.
What You Can Do
Fill out a donation form for a tax deduction (if desired), how you heard about the program, instructions and bra value(s).
After filling out the donation form, a mailing label will be sent via email. Be aware that they do not pay for postage. Instead, their money is spent distributing the bras to over 80 organizations around the world.
If you are not interested in shipping the bras, revisit the links above to find the nearest drop off location. (The drop off locations may surprise you. The closest location in my area was Fleet Feet Sports of Tucson).
TIP: Call First. I used the Geo locator feature (click on ‘details’) to find local drop off sites and phone numbers. Two out of three of the businesses listed in my area were NOT participating. Call first to confirm before driving to a listed location.
You can also learn more about making a financial donation here.
How To Support
You’ve heard the phrase, ‘Over the shoulder boulder holder’- well this is the way we can help other women in our communities – especially women who are well endowed. No matter what size you are, there is a need for your gently used bra. A good, supportive bra can be expensive but specialty bras are VERY expensive. Something as simple as a well-fitting foundation garment goes a long way to provide a good start to your day. I would like to think that this simple donation would be a small step toward helping women gain more self confidence, self respect and aid in making a better first impression. It is also an expense that doesn’t make it to the top of the priority list when other life threatening needs surface.
If you are like me, at some point your drawer holds a collection of different bra styles, sizes and comforts levels that represent weight fluctuations over the years. It kills me to throw them away….
I was so excited to find an alternative to throwing the bras into the landfill. Giving something I can no longer use to those in need was a bonus!
I hope this was helpful….I know it was for me to read more about it from Jennifer Connolly. Thanks, Jennifer. 🙂
Spread the word!
Until next time, stay uplifted.