The 11 best places to donate old bras in the UK (2024)

Girl in bra next to bed

The 11 best places to donate old bras in the UK (2024)

Whether it is an ill-fitting bra, a style you decided just wasn’t for you, or an old favourite that has been worn beyond use, not many of us are strangers to the bra in our drawer that we simply don’t use. 

It is estimated that 80% of women in the UK are wearing the wrong size bra. Wearing ill-fitting bras can cause problems such as back and neck pain. As our bodies change throughout our lives, it can be a good idea to go for a bra fitting once a year. But what to do with old bras?

To donate an old bra, UK ladies have some great options available to them. 

Should we Donate?

Old donated bras hanging on a line in the UK
Photo by Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash

Many bra donation programs work by donating items to disadvantaged communities. This has come under criticism in some instances as it has been argued that donating unwanted items simply moves waste to another area.

Claims organisations have made regarding the benefits of wearing bras for women in various communities have also been argued to be unrealistic or tone-deaf to community struggles. 

Researching how a company operates, the quality checks they have, and the impacts on the communities they serve can help you make an informed choice when donating.

When done correctly and in conjunction with other community projects and organisations, bra recycling and donation programs can help to make meaningful social and environmental impacts. And help you to clear out unwanted items with a clear conscience.

Where to Donate Old Bras in the UK

So, what to do with those bras that just don’t fit, that were an impulse purchase, or that we have worn out? Well, these are some of the best ways out there to stop your lingerie from becoming yet more clothing waste.

We look at bra donation and where to recycle bras in the UK, including bra charities, charity shops that take bras and stores and bra banks that offer bra recycling.

Donating Lightly Used or New Bras 

pexels-this-is-zun-bra floating in air
Photo by THIS IS ZUN from Pexels

1. Smalls for All 

Organisation based in: Scotland 

Where to donate: Send items through their postal service

If you’d like to know where you can donate bras for Africa, Smalls for All is a good place to start. This underwear and bra charity provides access to underwear garments for both adults and children living in slums, orphanages, and camps for internally displaced people in Africa.

The company donates new or lightly used bras and new pants to those that have limited access to underwear and hygiene products in Africa. As well as working communities across Africa, the organisation also works with UK charities to help those living in poverty in Britain. 

2. Oxfam

Organisation based in: UK

Where to donate: Donate in-store or at a collection point

Unfortunately most charity shops won’t take used bras but Oxfam’s second-hand stores will take new bras. Luckily that covers those you’ve had in your drawers for years and never worn.

Donating bras to Oxfam helps support the organisation’s international poverty alleviation work. Oxfam tackles issues from beating hunger, to emergency relief, to gender equality, meaning your donation can support the organisation’s work to make a fairer and safer world. 

3. Against Breast Cancer 

Organisation based in: UK

Where to donate: Local bra banks 

Donating old bras to Against Breast Cancer not only saves them from landfill but supports businesses in developing countries and supports breast cancer research. Partnered with necessary recycling operators, the organisation has textile recovery projects for used bras. Against Breast Cancer receives £700 of funding towards breast cancer research for every tonne of bras collected. 

If you can’t find a bra bank near you, the charity will deliver an Against Breast Cancer bra bank to your place of work. You need to confirm that you’ll be able to recover at least 400 bras. If you can’t, you can send your old bras to them in the post, however it’s not a freepost service.

pexels-antonius-ferret-different bras on different girls
Photo by Antonius Ferret from Pexels

4. Save the Children 

Organisation based in: UK

Where to donate: In-store donations and donation collection points 

Save the Children is a charity that helps children around the world have access to safety, health, and freedom. So far the organisation has helped over 45 million children receive medicine, food and education.

Save the Children runs preloved charity shops across the UK that form part of its funding. For those in the UK, donating old bras to Save the Children only requires a visit to one of their many stores or donation points. Bras must be in a resalable condition.

5. ReDonate

Organisation based: UK 

Where to donate: Book a collection through the organisation’s website (most UK postcodes covered)

Accepting bras still in good condition, among a variety of other clothing types, reDonate not only keeps quality products out of landfill, but also helps out local charities in the process. Engaging with the program is as simple as booking a collection slot through the company webpage.

For those wanting to participate in the program in an area that reDonate doesn’t currently pick up from, the organisation will send a free parcel label so you can send in your preloved garments. All clothes collected are either reused, upcycled or recycled. Meanwhile, for every tonne of clothing accepted, the organisation’s partner charities receive a minimum of £200.

6. Your Smalls Appeal

Organisation based: UK

Where to donate: Contact the organisation to arrange a collection 

Started back in 2016, Your Smalls Appeal exists with the aim to empower girls around the world. Donated bras are provided to women and girls facing extreme financial hardship in places such as Gambia and Kenya. In 2022, the organisation also provided bras to women and girls facing conflict in Ukraine.

Additionally, the company provides menstrual products and financial support to girls living in poverty to better enable them to continue with their education.

Any donated bras must, of course, be clean and still in good condition to be donated to the organisation.

Donating Well-Worn Bras

Well worn bras hanging out to dry
Photo by Lennart Schneider on Unsplash

7. M&S Shwopping Scheme

Organisation based in: UK

Where to donate: In participating M&S stores

Do Marks & Spencers take old bras as well? Yes, as part of its sustainable commitments, M&S has introduced its Shwopping scheme. This scheme encourages consumers to donate preloved clothing, including bras, for resale, reuse, or recycling.

Depending on clothing quality and desirability, items are donated to Oxfam to be resold, reused through international programs, or recycled into new fabrics. 

8. Bravvisimo

Organisation based in: UK

Where to donate: In Bravvisimo stores

Bras of any condition, size, or brand can be taken into a Bravvisimo store and become part of the brand’s recycling program. For every kilogram of bras donated, Bravvisimo donates to Coppafeel, a charity promoting breast cancer prevention. Bras are recycled through the company’s recycling partner and turned into everything from insulation to car seats! 

9. Nudea

Organisation based: UK 

Where to donate: Post bras in to the organisation 

A great scheme for those wanting to refresh their bra rotation, when sending a preloved bra into Nudea’s bra recycling scheme, the organisation will give you 20% off a new bra from the Nudea range. The organisation has partnered with TerraCycle to ensure that all bras are recycled into new products and you can send in bras from any company, not just Nudea, to be included in the recycling scheme.

Bras and knickers laid out
Photo by Fahad Waseem on Unsplash

10. ONE Essentials

Organisation based: UK

Where to donate: Post products into the scheme 

Working to be a part of the solution to fashion’s growing microplastic pollution problem, ONE Essentials keeps microplastic particles in old underwear from leaching out of landfills by recycling your used bras and underwear. The sustainable company’s recycling program will accept bras, underwear, and socks from any brand, in any size, made from any material and recycle it into something brand new through its partnership with Upcycle Labs.

Making this scheme even better, when you participate in the program you receive a voucher for your next ONE Essentials shop.

11. UK Recycling Centres

Organisation based in: UK

Where to donate: Take to a local recycling centre

For bras that are in no condition to be donated or resold, recycling is the best option. In the UK, most recycling centres have a textile recycling area where bras can be recycled. Check local restrictions to ensure that underwires don’t have to be removed before recycling. For an old favourite that can’t be worn any longer, a local recycling centre is the way to go. 

Check your local council website to find your closest recycling centre.

Donate or Recycle

With textile waste reaching new levels (see our article on clothing waste facts for more info), considering what happens to the clothes we no longer wear is more important than ever.

If you decide to donate old bras in the UK there are organisations that you can choose from to fit your personal morals or a cause close to your heart. Or if that old favourite bra has simply been worn to the point of no longer being usable, then recycling is always a great option. 

Whether you prefer to donate bras or recycle them, from bras for charity to schemes like Marks and Spencer bra recycling, there are plenty of options!

For more information about what can happen to recycled fabrics, see our articles on recycled polyester and recycled cotton fabric. We also have an article on how to recycle the rest of your underwear or how to recycle your running shoes. It’s early days for some of these technologies but they’re advancing at a rapid rate. Watch this space for more info! 

If you want to replace those items you’ve donated, we have the complete guide to sustainable underwear in the UK. Get the low down on the best 31 brands from affordable to luxury, including the growing trend of period underwear. And for the one of the most sustainable fabrics of all, have a look at our guide to hemp underwear

Donating your old bras to good causes and only buying new from sustainable brands can help you do your bit for people and planet.

For even more recycling or donation options, see our articles on what to do with denim, glasses, shoes and even your wedding dress.

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