How To Recycle Old Bras

René Rofé - Blog on how to recycle old bras.

How to Recycle Old Bras

Bras put in a lot of work for us (and help us look sexy doing it!). After years of service, it can sometimes be hard to part with an old friend who has literally had our back. But maybe you don’t have to say “goodbye”! If you want to show your old bras some love and be environmentally conscious while doing it, we have some great tips on how to bring your old undergarments out of retirement with these fun and fashionable ideas!

1. Add Support to a Backless Dress

René Rofé Blog - How to recycle old bras by making shoe inserts out of bra padding

You can recycle old bras by repurposing them as bras built into your backless dress. Most dresses usually have a hem at the top with extra fabric that you can attach the top edge of your old bra by sewing them together. Alternatively, your backless dress may have an inner lining that you can attach your bra to. The key is to avoid sewing the bra to the front material to keep the stitch from being visible. Use pins to keep the fabrics in line to avoid mistakes while sewing.

When you recycle old bras this way, you gain a sexy revealing dress with an added lift in the front from the padding and underwire. It keeps nipples covered and tucked away without having to remove stuck-on adhesive at the end of the night, and without the sweaty under-boob from wearing an adhesive bra. 

2. Use Padding as Shoe Inserts

René Rofé Blog - How to recycle old bras by making shoe inserts out of bra padding

Recycle old bras into another sister system of support by fashioning your bra’s padding into shoe inserts!

Most bras come with removable pads that are often sized perfectly to fit right into the heel or toe of your shoe to easily add cushion. Some snipping is probably required, so make sure to cut your bra pads with a nice pair of scissors or a knife to match the contour of your heel or toes. Increasing your comfort if you’re going to be on your feet all day or dancing the night away is a great reason to recycle old bras using this useful trick.

3. Make a Cute Bracelet

A more fun and funky way to recycle old bras into a new accessory is to turn your bra strap into an adjustable bracelet!  

First, cut the strap off where it meets the band and above the adjustable component of the strap. Loop the cut strap through the metal loop that adjusts the bra strap and sew it to that you create a full circular bracelet that, voila, also adjusts! You can also add a decorative button or other embellishments to give it some flair.

4. Turn Bra Straps Into a Headband

René Rofé Blog - How to recycle old bras by making shoe inserts out of bra padding

An easy and functional way to recycle old bras is to turn their bra straps into a handy headband. This method requires minimal sewing skills, as all you need to do is wrap the strap around your head and ensure that it has a snug fit. You’ll want the band to be smaller than the actual circumference of your head so that it will firmly grip your hair in place. 

Attach the ends together by wrapping a piece of fabric over the connecting pieces and sewing them down together to ensure that it stays sewn together.

5. Make a Bra Purse

One of the most fun ways that you can recycle old bras is by turning them into fun purses! This upcycling idea doesn’t even require any sewing. Use a bra with an underwire, scissors, and hot glue to make your adjustments. 

You’ll first cut the cups out, however, be careful not to cut too much or you’ll expose the underwire. Attach the cups to each other using hot glue. Use the bra straps as handles for the purse. You can add one handle or two and make them any length you’d like, such as to create a cross-body purse.  

You can even add closures to the purse by reusing the ones on your bra. Simply use the cut-off pieces by securing them to each side of the purse and closing them as you did when it was on your bra.  

There are several other ways that you can use old bras to reinvent outfits and fix all the fashion problems that have been ruining your outfits. Recycling old bras won’t just help you solve problems without spending money, but doing so is also great for the environment, which means that everybody wins.