THOUSANDS of used bras are on their way to Africa via Huddersfield.
The 16,000 bras were donated by members of Soroptimist International, a worldwide women’s benevolent society.
More than 1,000 Soroptimist International members from around the world donated their bras to Oxfam when they attended a conference in Cardiff Bay.
A Soroptimist International spokeswoman, said: “Our members are committed to improving the lives of women and girls so the partnership with Oxfam enables them to make a difference to lives of many, from the small traders who are mainly women to the women who are able to buy bras at a fair price.’’
The huge donation of bras, which weighed 900kg, was collected by Oxfam and sent to their Wastesaver site in Hillhouse.
Tony Clark, general manager of the Wastesaver site, said the donation was the largest single donation of second-hand bras ever and could raise more than £7,000 for Oxfam’s funds.
He said: “Second-hand bras are the single most desirable item of clothing in West Africa.
“We’re doing a quick sort of them and seeing if any are good enough to sell in the UK and the rest go out to our project in Senegal.”
Mr Clark said they normally received 200kg – or 3,400 bras a week – most of which would be sent to West Africa.
Overall, the Hillhouse site receives 120 tonnes of clothes every week that cannot be sold in Oxfam shops.
The best items are filtered out and sold on Oxfam’s eBay site and the rest are shipped abroad to wholesalers and recycling traders.
Bras are popular in West Africa as they are difficult to manufacture and British ones are particularly renowned for their high quality.
Soroptimist International of Great Britain and Ireland has 11,000 members in 29 countries working on service projects in the local community as well as supporting the international work of the organisation.