Donating very lightly used bras -- yea or nay?

Help settle an argument between me and my husband. I will not say who is taking which side of this debate so as not to influence it in any way.

We are getting together a donation pile for Goodwill. I have a bunch of bras that I got for my post-op period from a breast reduction–worn after everything healed but before I could wear regular bras again. Most of them are sleep or sports bras but a few are regular bras that just don’t have underwires. I’ve worn them all only a handful of times. Some have been washed but never worn.

Can I donate them to Goodwill, or is that just nasty?

Once something’s washed, it’s…well, it’s washed. Bras are expensive, second hand ones are NOT a bad idea. And if you do donate, somebody will buy them, and be glad they didn’t have to pay 40 bucks for it, so…yeah. Donate.

If they’re well-washed and don’t look dingy (greyish) or pit-stained, stretched-out, pilled or otherwise “used” then I’d say donate as well.

Yes, donate. If people can donate used underwear and bathing suits, and they do, then you can donate used bras. New bras are expensive.

Yes, donate them if they are in good shape–if you wouldn’t be embarrassed to give one to a personal friend, for example.

I’d donate them, but the other question is if you do so what will you sleep in? Gravity (I’ve come to realize ruefully) doesn’t shut off when you’re asleep.

I’d call Goodwill and ask. I’ve read somewhere that underwear is the least likely to be bought, so a quick phone call should settle it.

I can’t stand to wear bras when I sleep. I only had them because I was not allowed to go braless for a couple of months.

The thrift shop I donate my stuff to carries bras. If they’re in good condition, as you indicate, absolutely you can donate them.


Another vote for donate, since they’re in good shape. I’ve donated bras (only worn /washed once or twice) and no problem.

I say donate. If your local Goodwill doesn’t deal in intimate apparel, contact your local women’s shelter. Ours gives them away free to women in need.

If they’re in good shape, donate (but probably a good idea to ask if they take them first). After I lost 75 pounds, I donated two very nice and gently worn Lane Bryant bras. I hope someone was able to use them, because by then I could have fit (ahem) two girls in one cup.

This may come as a surprise, but many of the larger charities can accept unusable clothes and sell them to textile recyclers. The Salvation Army accepts unusable clothing nationally for recycling. Local Goodwill Chapters often accept unusable clothing for recycling. Other local charities may or may not want to accept unusable clothing.

So don’t presume that it’s not useful even if it is old and torn. It’s a good idea to ask first, but many charities can even benefit from it.

The same does not apply to other kinds of unusable household goods. There may be some charity somewhere that wants your broken couch or refrigerator, but to most charities they would be a burden.

Here is an article about recycling old clothing. It suggests that you bag unusable clothing separately to help the organization you are donating to (if they accept unusable clothing).

The Goodwill I work at will take used bras. As mentioned above, even if they don’t get put out on the sales floor, we will salvage them. If they are in good shape and not stained or anything, they usually get sold.

Aside from whether or not charities WILL take them, in other words, addressing the “squick” factor of used bras – bras aren’t really any different from shirts, IMO. Would whoever is against it have anything against a guy donating his shirt? It’s not like you pee and menstruate out of the left nipple and poop out the right (which is usually the source of the squick factor about underwear or panties), unless you’re lactating pretty much the only thing getting on the bra are the same things liable to get on a guy’s shirt. Of course, this means follow the same rules as donating a shirt (no significant discoloration from sweat, etc), but fundamentally there’s nothing even remotely gross about it compared to any other type of used clothing.

Absolutely fine to donate. If you’re self-conscious about it, just stuff them into the bottom of a trash bag and fill it up with donatable non-underclothes. They’ll take the whole bag and won’t see the bras until you’re long gone :slight_smile:

Another vote for donate - Oxfam, one of the largest charity shops here in the UK actually has a specific call out asking for used bras at the moment!

Another vote for donate. Bras (particularly nice bras) can get really expensive, and a well-fitting bra makes every other part of your world more cheerful (spoken as a woman who’s worn a lot of ill-fitting bras). Your secondhand bra will probably make someone’s day.

Oxfam in the UK are currently running a campaign for bra donations:

Might be worth seeing if there’s anything similar where you are?

Looks like this question is resolved, but now we have to know – Drain Bead, which of you took the “okay to donate” position?