What To Do With Your Old Bras

What To Do With Your Old Bras

9th Mar 2022

Bra shopping is up there with having to buy new jeans. There’s a lot of on-and-off and a lot of anxiety about what fits and what doesn’t. Exhausted by all the arm extension; hooking and unhooking, you look around at the bra battlefield on the floor, and they’ve all blended into one. For most of us, it’s not the most enjoyable experience.

Even though it can be fraught, the fact is – bras don’t last forever. As a garment that gets such frequent workout, it’s a sure thing that you’ll have to replace them eventually. It’s easy to keep pushing your favourite bra to its limits, even though it's lost its support and is looking sad. So to avoid total bra breakdown, here’s the lowdown about when it’s time to say goodbye and bring in a new bra.

It might surprise you to learn that the official line is, it’s best to replace your bras, wait for it… every 6-8 months. But in reality, that’s just an arbitrary number, in the real world, the truth is more dependent on individual factors.


The general rule of thumb is that there’s safety in numbers. The 6-8 month rule revolves around you having between 3-5 bras in your repertoire. That means, for those who have a drawer full of bountiful bras in circulation, you’re looking at a collectively longer life due to the less wear that each of them gets.


Your boobs won’t always be the same; over your lifetime, they’ll get bigger and smaller and shift in shape as well. If you’re in your teenage years, your breasts are still growing which means you’ll have to do a lot more bra-shopping. And it doesn’t stop there, women’s boobs can keep growing until they’re into their 20s – that’s a whole lot of bras you’ll burn through. There are other things which can affect the size of your breasts at any given time; from how much you’re exercising, weight fluctuations, if you’re on medication, and even breast cancer.


If your drawers are piling up with gorgeous gently used bras, instead of throwing them away – pass them on to women in need. There are plenty of women and girls alike who would benefit from your unused bras. These women may be homeless, or perhaps, for a variety of reasons, they’re forced to depend on donated clothes. Contrary to popular belief, bras aren’t often found in op-shops and if they are, they’re unlikely to fit properly.

Here is a collection of drop off points for where your bra(s) can go:

  • The Uplift Project which collects bras to give to women who can’t access the right fit in their country.
  • Support the Girls Australia is an initiative empowering women and girls by supplying them with not only bras and underwear, but other crucial developmental products like tampons and pads.
  • If it hasn’t been worn out and is still in shipshape, you can donate bras to your local Vinnies or another charitable organisation.
  • For bras that are unwearable, consider an eco-friendly option and recycling it somewhere near you.

These are just a few of the options out there which help to take care of Mother Earth and reduce textile waste. And even though they’re all great bra recyclers - you can be one too! If your bras consist of only natural fibres, throw them in your compost bin, and start your textile recycling at home. If none of these work for you, consider bra donations - find some drop off locations for your local op shop and/or donate to Free The Girls.


If you’re feeling creative and are looking to turn your bra into something sensational – we’ve got a few ideas. Turn it into a bathing suit, add some bling and bedazzle it, attach some lace, make a chain and ribbon back, turn it into a bustier or sew it into a dress.


This busty and brilliant frilled burlesque beauty:

bra upcycling frilled burlesque bra

This solution to the backless dress problem:

backless dress bra upcycling

Or this DIY How To:

diy backless bra

When your favourite bra has had its day – replace it with one from the DeBras Bra Collection

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