Avoid washing your bra in the washing machine & especially avoid the tumble drier
Research has shown that laundering accounts for 60–80% of a garment's total environmental impact and we all know the number #1 way to killing your bra is washing or, even worse, throwing them into the dryer. You can probably get away with wearing a bra two or three times before washing it, but you also want to give your bra a rest in between wears so that it can retain its shape. The best thing you can do, is have a few bras on rotation—less cleaning + rotating your bras gives the elastic a break in between each wear.
Photo by Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash
Up to 95% of clothing can be re-used or recycled, including bras!
Yep, you can recycle bras! These garments can be used again as an industrial rag or textile by-product. You can check out which organisations will recycle your clothes nearest to you here.
Upcycle your bras!
You can easily take out the padding of your old bra and e.g. sew it into your backless tops or dresses. Those tops or dresses now have the support they were always lacking!
Donate slightly-worn bras to Op-Shops and people in need
Customers today are often choosing op-shops over fast-fashion retailers, as it’s a more sustainable option to shop. People who experience financial hardship heavily rely on second-hand shops for clothing, so donating a slightly worn/near-new bra will go a long way.
There are also a few organisations which accept donated bras and distribute them to women in need. The Uplift Project has ethical standards, and uses biodegradable packaging to ship their bras. They also aim to not compete with local businesses. Other great bra gifting options include Against Breast Cancer, the Breast Cancer Campaign and Oxfam.
Make sure you always wash your bra or clothes before donating.
Upcycle items beyond your underwear
We've all had that "oh-no!" moment when we notice that our favorite jacket has developed a hole or a ripped seam. Next time it happens to you, don't worry. A little snag doesn't mean you need to ditch your favorite denim jacket just yet. Simply add patches to cover any unwanted areas or holes. Each good-quality piece you buy and care for, and patch-up as needed, means one less in a landfill.
Photo by Brianna Santellan on Unsplash
Celebrities are encouraging sustainability
Recycling dresses has grown in popularity, with stars and designers trying to be eco-friendly by re-wearing gowns instead of crafting new ones for just one night out, and the 2020 BAFTA ceremony will go down in history as one of the most sustainable awards season events ever. Guests who were planning on attending the ceremony not only received instructions on how to minimize their carbon footprint, they also received a sustainable fashion overview created by the Center for Sustainable Fashion at the London College of Fashion, complete with a list of pre approved brands, resellers, and rental options. Attendees were strongly encouraged to re-wear existing pieces, seek out environmentally friendly brands, and showcase green design on the world stage. While it seemed that quite a few celebrities didn’t receive the memo on dressing eco-friendly for the BAFTAs, 2020’s award ceremony was definitely a step in the right direction.