Over the festive season, many women will have been handed new items of lingerie. Therefore, in order to make space in their underwear drawers, a lot of consumers may have been getting rid of old items.
With this in mind, women in one city are being encouraged to head to special bra recycling banks. In 2010, Birmingham City Council launched a network of these receptacles and since they were introduced, they have collected a total of 1,592 kilograms of the garments.
The bras are recycled to generate money for Sutton Coldfield-based charity Breast Friends, which is a self-help group run by unpaid volunteers. It aims to help women with breast cancer by offering friendship, support and practical assistance.
For every kilogram of bras collected, the organisation receives £1.
Commenting on the initiative, Councillor Sue Anderson said: “We are now in the post-Christmas period, a time when lots of people begin clearing out their cupboards and wardrobes to make way for their new gifts.
“I’d urge anyone doing this to make sure they drop their old and unwanted bras at one of our network of recycling banks. Giving gifts is just as important as receiving them, and recycling a bra is a great way of giving to Breast Friends, a great cause in our city.”
The items of lingerie deposited by women is sold by weight to recycling firm BCR Global Textiles, which then re-sells the items to traders in a number of developing countries. This provides women with bras they may not otherwise have access to.
Many of the women in Birmingham who received new Freya bras, Ultimo bras and other such things over the festive season, or indeed those who have simply stocked up on lingerie themselves over recent weeks, may opt to take their unwanted bras to these recycling banks. Meanwhile, there are other similar initiatives in operation around the country.