This year as part of the Little Black Dress Project, I am excited to announce we are also collecting Bras for Free the Girls though the month of March! I am always fascinated by normal people coming up with great ideas that change the world, and Free the Girls undoubtedly falls into this category.
Why is Collecting Bras a Good Thing?
In this case, Free the Girls takes something we don’t use in United States once we don’t fit/need/want/like them–old bras–and uses these same bras to create an income for someone in need. The women who sell these were formerly exploited and trafficked, giving them a new shot at life. In addition, it is a pretty sustainable practice, as where these are sold there is no textile industry for bras. These bras add supply to a market of high demand, bolstering a local economy, helping curb extreme poverty without ruining someone’s business.
Watch this really cool short video below by the CNN Freedom Project which helps us get an idea of how Free the Girls started and what they are doing (or view the article here).
How Does This Idea or Action Work?
Here is the equation I am working off of:
Most women do not want any bras they don’t use + ridiculously simple way to help others = LOTS of BRAS
So, essentially from there it is figuring out how to creatively leverage the relationships and circles of people you know to get their old bras that they don’t want anyway. Sounds like a pretty easy and gratis way to make all of us into world changers, providing a livelihood for trafficking survivors!
I was also inspired by this story of a church that found itself collecting bras from all over the country to fight sex trafficking. What a cool church, who knows they are meant to make a difference!
How Can You Get Involved?
First, here are some general ideas:
- Do you know of any businesses/storefronts/churches that wouldn’t mind having decorative, exciting, fun, drop-off boxes for the month?
- Are you an artists/creative who can go to town making drop-off boxes?
- Would you be willing to host an event (wine/dessert/documentary-showing/dinner) where the focus is bringing used bras to donate?
- Who are your circles--would they be interested in collecting old bras?
- Facebook groups
- Small group/church groups
- Moms groups
- Neighborhood groups
- Outreach partners
- Then, how can you best INVITE them to that opportunity? Why would they be interested in making bring bras a “thing?” Could you help make it easy enough for them to want to do it? (Flowing poetry is the answer, obviously).
Which of those things can you commit to doing? What can you get your friends on board with to help you do? Be sure to let me know in the comments!
Also, as always, you are welcome to take part in LBD 2015 to get yourself really into the game of raising funds, awareness, and challenging yourself as you learn more about human trafficking. The major plus of this is that the bra collection will smoothly slides into the theme of the Little Black Dress Project–your brand for the month. People might might not give you money, but you can engage them in another way when they give you their gently used camisoles and bras.
The Group Project of a Clothing Swap & Bra Collection
For me, the kick-off for the Average Advocate bra collection will be the next J10 women’s event where every lady, regardless of church/no-church is invited–a “new-to-us” clothing exchange and $5 fundraiser for the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Initiative. This is on February 28th, 2015 from 7pm-10pm. If you are local, please come!
If you want to join with me in collecting bras throughout March, please keep tally of how many come in through your circles! At the end of the month I will post the grand total of how much our simple efforts altogether make and will be highlighting your efforts!
P.S. This event was spectacular and I highly encourage you to try it too! We have amazing pictured from two different photographers to highlight exactly how we did this, but so far the step-by-step of how to pull off this event hasn’t been published on Average Advocate (but will be). If you need advice on getting this advocacy project going with your group, feel free to comment below.
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