There comes a time in every favourite pair of undies’ life when it’s just past the point of repair. Statistically, 92 million tons of textiles end up in landfills each year. Which is usually people’s first thought when something is beyond repair, just to throw it out.
But in order to create a circular economy, we have to do everything in our power to reuse things and keep them in use longer. So the solution can’t be to simply throw them away.
Upcycling can also only take us so far. When we’re talking about bras and underwear, we’re working with a lot less material and it can be difficult to turn them into anything else. The only next option would be to recycle!
Of course, it’s not as easy as throwing it in your bin and it is dealt with. So here are a few solutions.
Where to recycle old bras and underwear:
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In the US
For Days is an ethical and sustainable clothing brand that offers a take-back bag. This is only available in the US and costs $20 for a large bag. You can fill it with any clothing including old bras and underwear and send it back for them to be recycled responsibly!
Knickey is an ethical and sustainable underwear brand that will gladly take your old-used undies and bras! The best part is that by recycling with them you earn points to redeem and new undies!
Terracycle famously recycles things that are hard to recycle. Including textiles like old bras and underwear! How it works is you purchase a box, fill it up and send it back to be recycled! Their boxes can run a bit expensive so I always recommend getting a group of people together that have items to recycle and split the cost!
Terracycle is also available for Canadians to use! And trust me, it’s hard to come by brands and companies that accept recycled clothes in Canada.
La Vie En Rose is a Canadian lingerie retailer. While they’re not a sustainable brand, per se, they do take back old bras! You can drop them off in-store any time of the year and they’ll be recycled or reused depending on the condition.
The North Face accepts clothing (including bras and undies!) in any condition of any brand! You can drop them off at participating locations and earn rewards towards future purchases! Collected items are sent to the non-profit Soles4Souls and help to create sustainable jobs.
Recycling mistakes you’re probably making
Clothing brands that use recycled materials
I hope this helps you sustainably get rid of your old bras and undies! And most of these brands accept other clothing items as well to ensure we’re not creating excess textile waste.
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I also highly recommend Retold Recycling! They’ll sort through your items and see what’s in good enough shape to be usefully donated and what’s ready to be recycled.