Skip to Content

What to Do with Old Underwear

Sustainable Fashion

Last Updated on April 6, 2023

This post details what to do with old underwear and bras when you’re through with them and trying to live a zero waste lifestyle. Many people don’t know what to do with old bras and underwear, so they ultimately end up in a landfill. However, there are so many ways you can donate bras and underwear or recycle and upcycle your old undies!

Have you ever wondered what to do with old underwear when you’re Spring cleaning or decluttering your closet? Or decided to replace your bras, and wondered what the heck to do with the old bras? Can you donate underwear? Does Goodwill take underwear? Never fear – I’m here to tell you exactly what to do with your old bras and underwear.

close up image of red lace bra with overlay text reading "where to donate, recycle, and upcycle old bras and undies' for an article about what to do with old underwear

what to do with old underwear

Has anyone else caught the declutter bug? I have been going through all of my clothing to weed out what is working for me and what’s not.

I’m thinking about listing some of my nice pieces that I don’t wear enough on a sales app like Poshmark or Depop, then donating good quality pieces.

However, I’m still left with some pieces that are completely falling apart and not suitable to donate. From stretched out and shrunken old, stained t-shirts to ratty undies, I was left wondering… what on Earth do you do with these items?

I’ve been searching for answers and thought you might be wondering too… can you donate underwear and old bras?

So, I’ve rounded up several places that take bras in good condition, plus ways to upcycle your old fabric scraps and places that accept clothing for textile recycling.

can you donate underwear?

Yes! However, please make sure the underwear is gently used and free from stains, stretched elastic, tears, or holes.

Buy Nothing groups on social media are local communities to give and receive all sorts of things for free — clothing, children’s toys, rugs, furniture, and even lightly-used underwear and socks. Otherwise, here are a few organizations that accept old underwear and bras.

where to donate bras and undies:


Support the Girls collects and distributes essential items — including bras, underwear, and menstrual hygiene products — allowing women and folx experiencing homelessness, impoverishment, or distress to stand tall with dignity.

You can check a donation site near you or mail products to:

I Support the Girls
Attn: Dana Marlowe
P.O. Box 2736
Wheaton, Maryland 20915


The Bra Recyclers give out gently used bras to women in need, and they also take bras that are too worn to proper textile recycling facilities.

They have several drop-off locations, but you can also mail your recycled items directly to The Bra Recyclers. The mailing address is:

The Bra Recyclers
3317 S. Higley Rd, Ste 114-441
Gilbert, AZ 85297  


Free the Girls works with women all over the world who’ve been freed from trafficking. They distribute and donate bras to help these women set up their own secondhand clothing businesses.

They will help you organize a clothing drive, and you can send your bras to the address below.

Free The Girls
1552 Pioneer Trail
Chesterton, IN 46304

RELATED: 14 Ethical and Sustainable Everyday Underwear Brands

Can you donate underwear? Top view of a sports bra, tennis shoes, a cell phone, jump rope and water bottle.

what to do with old bras

Aside from the above donation options, there are also loads of ways you can upcycle bras — whether they are super cute and you just want to hang on to them, or if they are too worn out to donate in good conscience.

A few of my favorite ways to upcycle old bras are:

clothesline full of used bras to show you can donate bras

compost old undies:

If your undies are made from natural fibers like cotton, wool, silk, etc., you can compost them!

You’ll just need to cut off the elastic, then cut the fabric into smaller pieces so it can break down easier.

This will work especially well with a worm bin. Check out this post if you want more information on how to build your very own compost bin for under $15.

matching bra and underwear with to do list, passport, and phone in a post about what to do with old bras

textile recycling:

  • Check out the Bra Recycling Agency — they take old bras and turn them into carpets!
  • If you’re in San Francisco, there’s a textile recycling program run through the SF Department of the Environment.
  • I:CO is working towards closing the loop in the clothing industry by recyclying textiles into yarn, shoe soles, etc.
  • Terracycle has a zero waste box specifically for textiles, but it is spendy!


does goodwill take underwear?

Some people want a convenient, close-to-home donation option. So does Goodwill take underwear? Most thrift stores like Salvation Army or Goodwill do not take used or open packs of underwear. Some thrift shops do, so be sure to check their guidelines before dropping them off. They’ll likely be thrown away and end up in a landfill if donated to somewhere that doesn’t accept underwear.

what do you do with the old elastic when upcycling or composting bras and underwear?

Elastic bands are not recyclable or compostable. So I suggest you reuse them! Many times the elastic in worn out bras or underwear is still perfectly functional, so save it for future sewing projects instead of buying new elastic when the time comes.

Be sure to check out my post Where to Recycle and Donate Old Clothes for more information on how to ethically and sustainably donate the clothing you don’t love anymore!

Join The Conversation

Share Your Thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Knickey will recycle old undies, bras, socks and tights into insulation. Just send them your stuff with their prepaid label and they also will give you a free pair of underwear with your next purchase.

  2. I recently shortened the straps on a bra that I like but whose straps had gotten stretched out. Fun, quick, easy and now I can still use that bra!