It might sound silly, but wearing a bra that fits well is life-changing. Increased confidence, happiness, and comfort are common effects of wearing a bra in the correct size.
Unsurprisingly, the health benefits are numerous and include decreased stress, decreased breast tissue discomfort, and decreased back pain. Especially if you have large breasts, you could be experiencing back and shoulder pain from their weight. You might also, regardless of size, have pain in your breasts while moving (holding your breasts up while walking up or down stairs sound familiar? ;)). A properly fitting bra helps with these problems, it distributes the weight of your breasts so that they’re way easier to carry and inhibits motion which can lead to pain. This is why I firmly believe that all women, regardless of bra size, should make a bra fitting a priority.
A bra fitting is when an expert, otherwise known as a professional bra fitter, determines your bra size, solves your bra issues, and offers new bras based on the size, shape, depth, and placement of your breast tissue. Any woman can get a professional bra fitting and here in Port Alberni we are lucky to have Sheanagh at Boutique Belles Amies who offers complimentary bra fitting services.
You should consider a professional bra fitting if you’ve recently lost or gained weight, become pregnant, gave birth, started or finished nursing babies. It’s a good idea to visit an expert if you feel any discomfort or pain while wearing your bras, if your bra size has changed, or if none of your bras currently fit.
It’s also important to see a professional bra fitter if you’re experiencing any of the following issues with your current bras: breast tissue spilling out of the cups, cups gaping, wires popping out, breast tissue and underarm soreness while wearing the bra, straps falling off your shoulders, the bra riding up in the back, band feeling too tight or too loose, etc.
Bra fittings are especially important after a mastectomy, reconstructive breast surgery, breast augmentation surgery, or breast reduction surgery.
Even if you aren’t currently experiencing any issues with your bras, it’s still a good idea to get a professional bra fitting every 6 months to a year. The average life span of a bra is around 6 months, so realistically, you’ll need new bras around that time anyway!
From my own experience with Sheanagh and other professional bra fitters, I have always been treated with respect, care, and confidentiality while being measured and properly fit for new bras. The bras that I purchase after being professionally fit are always my favorites for comfort and style.
Not sure what to do with your old bras? Consider donating them to one of these organizations that are out to make a difference in the lives of women all over the globe!
1. I Support the Girls
I Support the Girls collects and distributes new and gently worn bras and menstrual hygiene products around the world. This non-profit sends its donations to women and girls in homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, refugee settlement homes, foster care agencies, LGBTQ agencies, homes for pregnant teens, and more. I Support the Girls has helped over 180,000 women in the last three years. All new and used bras in good condition are accepted either at one of their donation sites or via mail.
2. Free the Girls
Free the Girls has a slogan: When you donate a bra, you give someone a job. The organization works with services all around the world that rescue women and girls from sex trafficking, who can then start their own businesses selling donated bras. It’s a job that they can do while caring for their families and attending school, and one that allows them to be surrounded by other women.
Free the Girls accepts new and gently used bras of all sizes, styles, and types. You can mail your bras directly to the organization. You can even send a note to the girls who receive the bras along with your donation.
3. The Bra Recyclers
If you’re interested in going green, don’t overlook your underwear drawer. A mere 15 percent of textiles are recycled, while 85 percent of textiles end up in landfills. The Bra Recyclers are dedicated to changing those stats, one bra at a time.
This organization sends usable bras to its charity partners, who then distribute them to women in need. When you donate old bras that are no longer usable, the organization recycles them, keeping them out of landfills and benefiting the environment. According to the Bureau of International Recycling, recycling just over two pounds of textiles can save 1,600 gallons of water and eliminate eight pounds of CO2 emissions.
Use the drop-off location finder on the Bra Recyclers site to find the closest store that accepts their donations. And if your closest location isn’t close enough, you can send your donation through the mail.
4. Donate Your Bra
Donate Your Bra is a group that collects used bras and distributes them to breast cancer support groups, shelters and other charities that support women. The group is small but mighty: it’s run entirely by unpaid volunteers, so you know that you’re supporting women who are dedicated to doing good.
Because they’re small, Donate Your Bra only accepts donation by mail.
5. Local Shelters
Want to be sure your used bras go to women in your community? Cut out the middle woman and bring them directly to women in need. Just one person can make a huge impact.
Contact local domestic violence shelters and homeless shelters to ask whether bra donations would be welcomed. You’ll likely hear a resounding “yes” from everyone. Women in these shelters often receive clothing donations, but few people think to donate bras.