Sunday, 3 May 2009

Bras for Africa

May is the month to donate your old bras to Bras for Africa:
Breastmates, in conjunction with HOTmilk, is proud to be involved with the Knickers for Africa collection drive.

We are collecting secondhand bras to send to women and girls in villages in Zimbabwe.

This is a great way to do something as simple as cleaning out your drawers, but it can make a big difference to a women's life.

The bras will be distributed to school girls and women, in villages around Harare in Zimbabwe, many of whom do not own any underwear or may only have one pair.
You can either:
  • mail your bras to Breastmates at 16 Oaklands Drive, Cambridge, Waikato, New Zealand;
  • drop them off to one of the many many lingerie retailers who will accept them across Aotearoa, Australia and the UK (click here and scroll down for the list)
They've been collecting since February and the aim is to send a full container to Zimbabwe at the end of May. Belly Beyond is also supporting the campaign.

Charcoal fedora tipped in the direction of the Glorious T, for emailing me about this.


Anonymous said...

Considering the "bra burning" tradition of feminism not that long ago I find this ironic.

Do these women really want/need bras? Surely there are bigger issues?

Alison said...

Well bra-burning is a complete myth, but I have to say my first question was "do they want them?"

Western culture values pert unsaggy breasts because we value youth and virginity and other things that make feminists wince, which is a major reason for why we wear bras. Certainly in many African cultures that isn't, or at least hasn't been, the case, and some of them have very different ways of dealing with breasts to us. Fine if they want or need them, but I'm not entirely convinced that can be the case.

Alison said...

PS - I do understand that bras in Zimbabwe are probably impossible to afford right now, and women who used to have them probably don't now. I'm just trying to make sure it's not a case of trying to foist them on people who don't want them and never have.

Anonymous said...

I was using 'bra burning' metaphorically :-).

I really wonder if the women of Zimbabwe are more in need of other items. I need more detail here and will go looking.

katy said...

I don't agree with the anti-bra sentiments. I would put bras in the same category as shoes - they enhance everyday physical comfort by providing support to the breasts which is probably more of an issue the bigger your breats are. Fine if you don't want to wear one but it's nice to have the choice. There are certainly other things that the women of Zimbabwe need but I don't see that as a reason not to support this.

Anonymous said...

To quote Germaine Greer, 'bras are ridiculous'.

And I for one have way too much respect for the horrors Germaine Greer has had to endure in her life to disagree with her.

T said...

FFS this is pathetic. I totally didn't expect to find women complaining about other women looking to HELP women.

Instead of LOOKING for something to complain about why don't you talk to the people running the charity to find out why they're doing it?

Having a bra if you're poor in Zimbabwe is a sign of prestige, a sign you have money, and therefore men are less likely to assault you.

Jeez now I need a smoke. I can't believe this crap.

Anonymous said...

T - thank you for that additional information. I believe the comments were made in questioning this initiative - not complaining (well mine were meant to be).

If this improves quality of life for women sure I'll support it - if it is the west foisting off their trappings on the majority world then I am not.

Julie said...

Thanks for the extra info T.

There are many many bras out there that don't create "pert unsaggy breasts" as their first priority, but do offer support. Rich Undercover, a bigger busted lingerie shop, is one of those supporting the drive.

T said...

Sorry for getting all rant-y. I hadn't had my morning coffee. Please forgive me guys! I re-read what I'd said and cringed. Monday mornings aye?

Breastmates said...

the collection is finishing on 31st of May, as the shipping container is already booked.

The bras are going to women and girls in towns. Women that already wear clothes but lack many things. Yes they defintely want the bras.

A bra is just something that we can help them with at the moment through this campaign.

A team will also be going over to help distribute the bras, and they are going to record a DVD to show us. I will load it onto my site here

and then you will be able to see all their happy faces


Anonymous said...

I found this site when googling "donate bras" because I recently saw an advert on TV saying that women in certain 3rd world communities were more likely to get abused by men if they weren't wearing underwear. At the end of the advert they announced the website address but I forgot it. I wanted to help but still can't find that particular cause.
Can anyone help?

Breastmates said...

to the last person that commented, the official charity is Knickers for Africa

LJN said...

What is wrong with you people. They say they need bras, send the bloody bras. Stop seeing it as an excuse to voice your inane feminist 'boob' manifesto!