The Uplift Project – collecting bras for a purpose

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The Grey Lynn Waste Away group have a bright pink bin located at the reuse depot at the weekly Grey Lynn Farmers Market for collecting unwanted but useable bras. It was established more than 5 years ago on 6 July 2013 and has received a fantastic amount of support from the local community.

As at November 2018 Grey Lynn Waste Away collected, sorted and donated 3002 bras.

“Our goal is to re-use and find a home for bras where it is very much valued”, says Lynn Green, who initiated the collection as one of the Waste Away group’s waste minimisation projects.

In the islands, rural and remote communities, woman often live on subsistence economies. A new bra can cost 10-30 hours wages and is beyond financial reach for most women. Often women will spread the money on family and children before purchasing something for themselves.

We encourage women to have a clearout and support the project:

What is often hard to find and especially needed are large size, mastectomy and nursing bras in all conditions, as they are difficult to obtain and they are expensive; other sizes need to be in good condition ie: no holes, with good elastic, hooks etc. New bras would be a generous donation too. The consequences of not wearing a bra can include skin irritations, fungal infections, abscesses and rashes, particularly in hotter climates.

The Uplift Project has sent over 330,000 bras to women since 2005 and has supporters from all over the world. In October 2018, Radio NZ reported that a NZ Navy ship delivered 16 boxes of donated bras for women in Vanuatu. Click here to view/listen to the article.

The Auckland coordinator, Kate Hargraves, is very passionate about the collections and the impact these have had on Pacific Island communities. We encourage you to follow the ‘Donate Bras’-Facebook page and contact Kate to find out how you can get involved: katehargraves@xtra.co.nz

For more info on the Uplift Project visit www.upliftbras.org