Bra maker Harper Wilde has partnered with textile recycler For Days to turn old bras into reusable yarn.
When binge-watching Marie Kondo's 'Tidying Up' show sends you to your underwear drawer, what are you going to do with all those bras that no longer fit right, are worn out, or simply look ridiculous? If they're still in decent condition, you can donate them to a thrift store or charity, but all too often they are sent to landfills, where they break down slowly, emit plastic microfibres into the environment, and off-gas methane. The good news is, there's a better option out there.
Enter Harper Wilde, the Los Angeles-based bra company that has just announced a partnership with For Days. Now, when you order a new Harper Wilde bra, you'll receive a prepaid return shipping label and will be able to mail back any old bras you no longer want for recycling. From a media release:
"For Days will work with their recycling partners to mechanically recycle the old bras (just like they do with their t-shirts), breaking down the materials and repurposing the fibers. While the materials can’t yet be used for new bras, most materials will be upcycled into new yarn that can be used for other types of garments, while others will be down-cycled into more industrial products."
For Days has an impressive track record for recycling old clothing. Its hugely successful t-shirt recycling program launched last year and has gained recognition for its zero-waste, closed-loop manufacturing model. Old fabric is sorted, sanitized, broken down, and blended with a bit of new yarn for reuse in garments. From the website: "A 70/30 blend of new and recycled fibers yields a yarn that is incredibly durable and sustainable."
The recycling initiative is not limited to store-brand bras; Harper Wilde will take any old bras you have. Right now they're being turned into T-shirts, socks and basics, but the long-term goal is to be able to use them to create new bras.
This is a great example of the circular economy toward which we all should be working. Hopefully Harper Wilde's initiative will inspire other clothing brands to do the same.