US firms launch bra take-back service


Harper Wilde and For Days are offering to recycling old bras | Credit: How can I recycle this?

Anyone ordering a new bra from online retailer Harper Wilde can now send an old one back for recycling

Online bra retailer Harper Wilde is looking to boost bra recycling rates with the launch of a new service for customers to send back their old bras.

Through its new ‘Recycle, Bra’ service in partnership with clothing recycler For Days, anyone ordering a bra from Harper Wilde will now receive a prepaid return shipping label to send their old bras back to be recycled, the firm said.

For Days, a t-shirt recycling company which launched in the US last year, will extract various different fibres from the underwear to make products such as insulation and pillow stuffing, reports Fast Company.

“Heavily used bras are not accepted by most charities and we don’t think that anyone wants to see their bra end up in a landfill,” Harper Wilde’s website states. “We all have them – the bra that never fit right, the one with the underwire that now stabs you in the ribs, and (our favourite) the bright orange one you’re not sure when or why you bought in the first place.”

To keep old bras going for longer, Harper Wilde also advised its customers to avoid wearing a bra for more than one day running. “When you give your bra a day off, the cups have time to relax into their original shape and ultimately last longer,” it said.

Circular economy take-back initiatives have become increasingly common over the past few years, with growing numbers of companies seeking to reduce the environmental impact of their operations and cut down on waste in the face of mounting consumer concern.

Last month some of the world’s largest consumer goods companies clubbed together to launch a new global recycling service called Loop, which will see recycling specialist TerraCycle provide re-usable packaging and new collection and delivery services for customers.

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