By Democrat reporter
It’s not quite a “taps aff” day in Dumbarton today, but will some women be headed out without a bra?
If so, it’s likely that they will have made their choice because of what they are wearing – or for comfort reasons. ‘Bra off, hair up’ is worthy of its meme status for a reason.
Skipping your skivvies is a mark of privilege for any woman in the UK but in some countries not wearing a bra can lead into a dangerous reality.
Dumbarton woman Jane McLaren Porteous tells me that in West Africa especially, going braless is a symbol of poverty. Bras – let alone well-fitting ones – are an expensive rarity when food and shelter come high up the list of necessities and sadly women who go out without a bra are more likely to be the target of rape and sexual abuse.
With sustainability at the forefront of everyone’s minds, what we do with our unwanted clothes is a major talking point.
Upcycle, recycle, share or donate. Just make sure that when you’re done, your clothing can go on to have a new life with purpose.
And when your bras are no longer required, it makes sense to send them to a specific charity that will donate them to women who really need them.
Not all charities are able to send bras straight to those in need. However British-based charity New Life Gambia is currently raising a collection of unwanted bras along with bra-fitter Janice Holmes, founder of Janice Rose Lingerie, and they are travelling to The Gambia later this year to distribute the underwear to the women who really need it.
Sylvia Morgan, sponsorship director at New Life Gambia set up the charity to provide education and a more hopeful future to the children who live in the country and says, “The families of the children in (the schools we support) live in extreme poverty and decent underwear for the women and older girls would be beyond their means.”
Janice said: “Women (where we are going) are seen primarily as home makers. Wearing a bra gives women an amount of status, prestige and dignity and a woman wearing a bra is potentially less likely to attract unwanted advances. In the long term this will help women (have) a better chance of fighting their way out of poverty.”
As well as the donation of our old bras, Janice will be fitting the women to ensure they receive a bra that actually fits them and will also train local villagers to fit bras themselves so the skill can be continued through generations.
With the worthy goal of improving underwear accessibility to those that really need it, if you have any old bras lurking in your drawers.
With more than 80% of women in the UK not wearing the right size bra, you’re bound to find some bras that will make a life-changing difference.
To make a donation before Monday 29th July
VIA POST: Janice Holmes Bra Donations,
The New Life Children’s Charity,
Everyday Champions Centre,
2, Jessop Close, Newark, Notts. NG24 2AG