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8. Hunt for bras

April 13, 2012

I’m willing to bet that most women own a lot more bras than they regularly wear. I know I do. In fact, when I talked to my cousin about a campaign that asked women to donate unwanted bras, between us, we managed to fill three shoeboxes. You can get quite a lot of bras in a shoebox.

There are loads of reasons why you might have bras that you don’t wear. People change sizes and old favourites become uncomfortable. A friend might have bought you a zebra print one that makes you laugh. You might have 7 black ones that are all pretty similar. Whatever the reasons, it’s likely that you or women in your life have a stack of unworn bras.

Unlike other items of clothing, most people don’t think of giving bras to charity shops. That might be why we all have so many old ones knocking around. Oxfam want to change this with their Big Bra Hunt. They might sell some in UK shops (and obviously raise money for their campaigns addressing poverty), but a lot of them will be sent to Senegal. Here, they’ll go to Frip Ethique, an Oxfam-run social enterprise. The people there will sort the bras, and then sell them to local traders.

This gives people (a lot of them women) jobs and opportunities, and the profits raised all go towards combatting poverty in Senegal.

Here’s what some of the women at Frip Ethique say about it:

“Now my children are all at good schools… I’ve worked at a lot of places but this is the best… We’re well paid. We’ve got job security. And we have sickness benefits and pension.”
Amy Collet Gueye, stock manager

“Now I work for Frip Ethique, not only am I able to take care of more people but also my parents and my sister who are in the village.”
Dieynaba Coly, staff association representative and clothes sorter

It’s a great campaign that offers a lot of benefits for people in Senegal, and it’s so easy to participate, as I know so many of the people reading this will know people with bras they don’t use. Send them the link and get them to take part!

All you have to is collect the bras and drop them at your local Oxfam shop (find out where that is here). Happy bra hunting!

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