We're Collecting Sports Bra Donations to Change Lives and Eliminate Textile Waste

The average U.S. citizen throws away 70 pounds of clothing each year. Of that, 95% of textiles, worn or torn, can be recycled. Yet, only 15% gets donated or recycled, which means 85% goes to our landfills. That's 21 billion pounds.

Starting in July of 2018, we set out on a mission to make a difference by collecting bras for women in need.  We’re partnering with The Bra Recyclers, the leading voice of bra repurposing while providing substantial social benefits to women and girls escaping domestic violence, drug addiction, human trafficking and breast cancer survivors. 

We're doing this by installing recycling stations at all of the Fleet Feet Chicago stores. When you donate a sports bra and purchase a new one, you’ll receive a free tote bag from Brooks Running.

Why are we doing this?

Textile waste was estimated at 14.3 million tons in 2012. Additionally, many people have unworn clothing that can be donated, reused, or recycled.

So, why bras?

The average woman owns 6 bras but only wears 2. Additionally, 8 out of 10 women aren’t wearing the right size bra. Even when they do fit, on average, worn bras only last 6-9 months.

What are the benefits of recycling?

We thought you’d never ask. The textiles used in bras can be recycled or reused and there are three major benefits of doing this:

  • Recycled fiber products save money and resources by using existing materials.
  • Recycled textiles use less water, less energy, and create a lower carbon footprint than all other alternatives.
  • The secondhand clothing market provides affordable clothing to those in need and encourages global entrepreneurship.

What do The Bra Recyclers do?

Simply said, their mission is to ignite a BRA-Volution.

And it’s happening now by helping other non-profit organizations recycle over 4 million bras and support over 100 non-profit organizations.

The Bra Recyclers reduce the amount the amount of textiles that unnecessarily go to landfills by recycling and reusing bras while providing substantial social benefits to women and girls escaping domestic violence, drug addiction, human trafficking and breast cancer survivors.

How do I participate?

1. Wash It.

  • All bras should be washed.

2. Drop It Off

What is accepted?

New and used bras including sports bras (this could include overstock, returned items, slightly flawed from manufactuers and retailers).

Post surgery breast cancer supplies and accessories (mastectomy bras, prosthesis, camisoles, sleeves, etc). We work with Impact One Breast Cancer Foundation, a Phoenix-based non-profit organization to provide these items to uninsured women.

How long will you be accepting donations?

Our stores will accept sports bra donations that will be sent to The Bra Recyclers at the end of August. 

The Brooks Running tote-bags will be availalbe as a gift with purchase while supplies last.

What’s this I hear about a free tote bag?

You heard correct. When you purchase a new sports bra, you'll receive our current must-have tote bag from Brooks Running.

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