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The ThirdLove Difference and the Importance of Giving Back

When I founded ThirdLove a few years back, I dreaded shopping for bras. I disliked the whole process – finding time to get to a store, getting measured by a stranger, trying on lots of overpriced bras. I thought there had to be a better way to use technology to make bra shopping easier and more fun.

ThirdLove was founded with that dream in mind, and with the sole (and simple, so I thought) mission to deliver a perfect fit to real women around the globe. We started with bras because out of all of the things to shop for, they are not only the most frustrating — it’s also the most private. It’s not a social shopping experience like a new pair of shoes or party dress is. My goal in founding ThirdLove was to empower all women to feel comfortable and confident in their daily life.

A bra made for real women — for every woman

Women today want a bra that’s not only beautiful, but also one that fits perfectly and feels great throughout the day. As we set out to design these bras, I started thinking about all of the women in the world who can’t afford to buy a bra, or are wearing old, unsupportive ones because they don’t have the budget to invest in new ones.

According to Medscape, women and families are the fastest-growing groups in the homeless population in the United States today. And, 90 percent of these women are single heads of households, the only potential breadwinner. We also know that it’s harder for these women to get jobs to support their families — and job-based discrimination is present on a much larger scale amongst homeless women.

I know that these women especially need a bra to feel empowered to lead their family, to find a job and to feel confident participating in the workplace, so it became my goal to extend ThirdLove’s company mission of helping every woman find her perfect fit to these deserving women, too.

ThirdLove presents: Bras For All

Since our founding in 2013, ThirdLove has been devoted to helping celebrate these women, and has donated over $1 million dollars worth of bras in the past three years to charities around the United States. When bras are returned to us that have been gently worn through our Try Before Buying Program, these bras are delivered to our headquarters, hand-sorted by my team and then donated to both local San Francisco charities and women’s charities — in 2016 alone, we are proud to have donated over half a million dollars worth of bras to charities including St. Anthony’s, Dress for Success, San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center and many more.

I recently received an email of thanks from one of the shelters we donate to, the Asian Women's Shelter, a nonprofit in SF serving survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking. Our bras were distributed among AWS clients, both residents in its shelter program and outside clients. Knowing our bras are being donated to women going through tumultuous times in their lives means so much to me, and everyone on the ThirdLove team. My hope is that, in a world of uncertainty, these women feel even a bit more empowered or supported with their new bra.

How you can get involved

You don’t have to work at a company like ours to donate bras to women in need. We all have bras laying around that either don’t fit anymore or you simply never wear. Before you toss them in the trash thinking that no one will accept your used garments, think again! Now is the perfect time to clean out your closet and lingerie drawer to help a woman in need, and make room for the new pieces you’ll add to your closet this season.

No matter where you are in the U.S., The Bra Recyclers allows you to send in your washed, worn bras from anywhere in the country. Just wash it, label it and send it in. Bras For a Cause is another organization that allows you to mail in your bras in support of breast cancer survivors. Lastly, Free the Girls allows you to donate bras (either at a drop-off location or mailing it in) to be distributed to women in need overseas.

Even if you only have one or two bras that don’t fit anymore, please consider donating them. Your donation could mean one or two more women in need will have the support they need to get through the day.

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