Aerie Will Donate Your Unwanted Bras to Survivors of Sex Trafficking
The brand has partnered with the non-profit Free the Girls, which helps empower women and girls around the world.
Any bra-wearer knows the struggle of finding a bra that actually fits. It might be the hardest clothing item for a gal to shop for. We’ve all been there: You like a bra when you try it on in the store, wear it a few times, then realize it doesn’t fit exactly as you want it to and into the dresser it goes.
If you have lightly-worn bras sitting in a drawer somewhere, consider donating them to a worthy cause. This week, a Tweet about a bra donation program at Aerie (you probably know this retail store from their viral #AerieREAL campaign that pledged to stop re-touching photos used in their advertising) went viral, reaching more than 100,000 people—many of whom posted that they didn’t know donating lingerie was a possibility.
This empowering campaign is a partnership with Free the Girls, a non-profit dedicated to helping survivors of sex trafficking. It began last August, but last week’s viral post has brought worldwide attention to the cause. To participate, bring any bras you don’t want to your local Aerie location and in return you'll receive a 15 percent discount on your purchase. The bras can be any brand, any size, and any condition (although new or gently used is most helpful). As long as it is wearable, they’ll accept it.
After Aerie collects the donations, the store gives them directly to Free the Girls, who then sends the bras to El Salvador, Mozambique, and Costa Rica—countries where large population of women need help getting back on their feet. Once the bras arrive, members from Free the Girls help survivors set up a sustainable bra-selling business for themselves.
In many of these areas, buying a bra is not as easy as picking one off the rack. Those who receive donations set up a place to sell the undergarments to other women who don’t have access to a store. This means they’re able to serve a need in their community while also making a living in a safe and supportive environment.
This program is part of the #AerieSupports campaign, which is centered around giving back to charitable causes. They also have partnerships that benefit the National Eating Disorders Association, Darkness to Light (a non-profit committed to ending child sexual abuse), and Bright Pink, a non-profit dedicated to detecting and preventing breast & ovarian cancers. To donate, contact your local Aerie for more details. If you don’t live near a store, check out Free the Girls’ list of drop-off locations to find one near you. You could even organize a bra drive through your office, school, or church and bring the donations to a nearby drop-off location.