Have you ever wondered, How do you recycle clothes that can't be donated? Or, what do you do with old clothes that have holes in them? Over the years, I've done my best to keep old clothing out of the landfill. Clothes that are sent to the landfill release toxic gas when they decompose in landfills [source]. There are sources out there that allow you recycle old clothing that's not suitable for donation. Yes, even underwear!
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This is first in a series on how to recycle old clothing. We'll begin with undergarments. How do you recycle old bras?
How to Recycle Old Bras
I learned about The Bra Recyclers a few years ago and have sent them bras that are still in good condition but I don't wear them anymore. For bras in poor condition there is Harper Wilde,
though you need to purchase a bra first to send them your old bras. Once you receive the new bra from them, you send your old bras back in the same box. Harper Wilde now accepts bra returns - just pay the return shipping!
If bras are still in good condition:
If bras are still in good condition send them to The Bra Recyclers. The Bra Recyclers collect and donate bras to over 100 non-profits worldwide. They also accept new underwear which they distribute to women in need.
Second option (a tip from a friendly email subscriber): Soma Boutiques also accept bras for donation and recycling. They're partnered with Support the Girls to give gently used bras to unhoused women and The Bra Recycling Agency for responsible disposal of worn out bras. You don't even have to ship, you can just drop them off at one of their stores!
If bras are worn out:
Buy a new bra from Harper Wilde first. Once you receive your new bra in the mail you can return worn out bras in the same box. Instructions will be included in the box on how to return them. They have partnered with For Days to launch a new recycling initiative to help save worn out bras from the garbage can.
Cost: a new bra, starting at $40.
Second option: Harper Wilde now accepts unwearable bras through their recycling program. Just pay for the shipping.
More resources on where to recycle old clothing:
Third Love is a bra company that has a post on how to recycle bras in good condition. I don't have direct experience with their recommendations. But they have plenty of recommendations.
Retold Recycling is a new-to-me company that recycles all kinds of clothing, even if they are stained and holy. Get 15% off your initial Retold when you use this link.
Cost: starts at $14.50 for a 5 lb bag of clothing.
As you can see, there are a few different ways you can recycle your old bras without having to throw them away. I hope you think twice before ditching your old bras in the trash. If there are more resources I didn't mention, please comment below!