Did you know you can recycle or donate your old bras and swimsuits? Yep! There are several options besides throwing your old clothes in the trash. Many people may be shocked to learn that 84 percent of clothing ends up in landfills or incinerators. In New York City alone, more than 400 million pounds of clothes are wasted each year. If you have bras that you no longer wear—but are still in decent shape—don’t toss, recycle, or donate!
You can also recycle your wet suit: Sending yours into Suga—or dropping it off at specific locations in California and Canada—gets you a 10 percent discount off one of Suga’s products, which include yoga mats made from, yep, recycled wetsuits.
Read on to see how to donate or recycle gently used or new bras.
Donate to Bra-Specific Charities
- Free the Girls: This charity assists former sex trafficking victims in need of jobs by setting them up with bra-selling businesses.
- I Support the Girls: A group that distributes essentials like bras, hygiene products, and more to homeless women, poor women, and other women in need.
- Donate Your Bra For A Cause: This charity collects bras and redistributes them to cancer survivors and women’s organizations in need of bras for women in need.
- Be a Dear and Donate a Brassiere: A Bay Area charity that collects used bras and new panties for distribution to women who need them.
- Soma: This lingerie brand often accepts old bras in-store and donates them to homeless women and domestic violence survivors. You might also check with your local lingerie stores to find out if they take donations.
- B.R.A.: The Bra Recycling Agency (B.R.A.) technically doesn’t donate your bras, but it ensures the materials get recycled rather than end up in a landfill.
- The Bra Recyclers: This recycling organization takes care of the donations for you, distributing your old bras to places that need them.
- Local shelters: Your local women’s shelters and homeless shelters might also take bra donations.
When to Skip Donating
There are times when your old bras are only fit for recycling. If there’s severe damage, like a broken strap or an underwire poking out, or the reason you’re considering discarding it is that the elastic is shot, then it’s not worth donating. Instead, you can send it to one of the recycling services listed above.