You might have a bunch of bras hanging around your closet that don't fit you anymore. Or maybe you have some that are just old and worn out. It's time for spring cleaning and most of your other items can be sold or donated. What about your old bras?
Can you donate bras to Goodwill?
It's no wonder that people turn to Goodwill. They are one of the biggest donation centers in the US with thousands of locations, making it easy and convenient to find one. They receive tons of pounds of clothing donations every year, often more than they can handle.
So what happens to all those clothes? Particularly, what about a bra that's been washed and worn but still has plenty of wear left in it? Are they willing to take it?
Unfortunately, Goodwill can't take your used bras.
You can donate a lot of things to Goodwill, but due to health concerns, they can't take your used bras. Intimate apparel such as bras and underwear cannot be donated once they have been used. This is the case even if the item is still in great condition and has lots of life left.
This is pretty consistent across charity organizations, so Goodwill is not alone.
What happens to the old bras Goodwill does receive?
When you donate a bra to Goodwill or another charity, they will likely throw it away. This can be hard when you see the condition of some of these bras and think of them as items that are still useful.
In many cases, however, clothing is given to textile recycling companies. These companies will take apart an item and repurpose the useful parts, giving them a second life. Your old bra may become insulation for a home or furniture filler.
What can you do with your old bras then?
You can donate, recycle, or upcycle your bras. You can find out more about your options in our article, What To Do With Old Bras.
There are organizations listed there that will accept used bras. Some cost money (usually for shipping), while others are free.
If the thought of spending money to recycle isn’t for you, there’s always the option of donating as a group. Ask some friends if they also have bras they need to get rid of, so you can ship the bras together and split the cost of shipping. Together, you can save both money and the environment.
The most important thing to remember about donating bras is that there are options available outside of just throwing them in the trash. Goodwill, however, is not one of those options.