A second life for lingerie

A second life for lingerie

To raise awareness of the “pressing problems that afflict the ecosystem,” Intimissimi is accepting the bras through the end of this month. A multimedia ad campaign featuring Russian model Irina Shayk urges women to bring used bras to an Intimissimi store to “help save the planet.”

“Doing good for the environment is also a matter of style,” she advises consumers.
For every used bra brought in, a customer receives three euros ($4) towards the purchase of a new bra, an offer more commonly associated with used cars, refrigerators or air conditioners. “Well, why not bras?” said the orchestrator of the project, Sandro Veronesi, president of the Italian lingerie company Calzedonia Group, which owns Intimissimi.

“There are programmes for the scrapping of appliances, but no one thinks about what’s involved in the waste management of brassieres,” he said in a telephone interview.

Veronesi said that bras pose their own particular recycling challenges because they’re made of several different materials. Enter Ovat Campagnari, a Veneto-based company that specialises in the disposal and re-engineering of apparel waste.

The bra fibres are mixed with other textiles to make the soundproof insulating panels. Mirco Campagnari, one of the company’s owners, said he hoped the campaign would generate a greater awareness of the environmental benefits of using recycled materials in construction.
“Many companies have been contacting us since the campaign started,” he said.

Initial results have been positive, Campagnari said. Since the programme started on Oct 18, 30 to 40 per cent of all bras sold in Intimissimi stores have involved the trade-in bonus.

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