Friday, 4 June 2010

Bra's Help Turn City Green

By Ben Aulakh

Women in Birmingham are being encouraged to ‘bring their bra’s’ to the city’s Climate Change Festival, which starts this Saturday, June 5.

The City Council are asking ladies to take along any unwanted brassieres and donate them to a special ‘Bra Bank,’ similar to those used to collect recycled materials.

The pink collection contraptions will not only will help the council to further support recycling in the city, but ditched D-cups and collected C-cups will be put to a variety of uses.

Local recycling firm BCR Global Textiles will sell some of the lingerie to traders in developing countries, helping support small scale market traders while giving women access to garments they may not otherwise be able to afford.

BCR will also give proceeds of the sales to good causes in the UK such as the Breast Cancer Campaign charity.

Since may 2009 a total of 413,994 bras have been collected by the firm – raising £24,352 for charity in the process.

Cllr Paul Tilsley, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “The bra bank is a wonderful no-frills idea which has so many benefits.

“We avoid sending unwanted items to landfill and help people in developing countries; combined this perfectly captures the spirit of sustainability.”

Beyond this weekend’s event, the Bra Banks are set to soon be rolled out across the city at convenient locations including shops and supermarkets.

Birmingham will be joining other cities worldwide on Saturday in promoting environmental sustainability, as June 5 is ‘World Environment Day.’

This was created in 1973 by the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment; each year since global environmental issues are promoted through events and festivals.

Visitors to the Birmingham celebration will be able to enjoy be a wide range of green activities and performances.

There will be green, solar-powered circus and an ethical trade market, as well as eco-technology demonstration stands and a collection place for unwanted electrical items.

Cllr Paul Tilsley, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “This is a fun, entertaining and informative way for people to learn about what is being done to make Birmingham green.

“Everyone in the city has a role to play when it comes to cutting carbon emissions, I hope the wide variety of activities that we have organised will lead to a good turnout and inspire people to do their bit.”

Theatrical performances for schools and a gospel choir will provide entertainment on Saturday.

An annual update on Birmingham’s progress towards its goal of cutting carbon emissions by 60 per cent by 2026 – when compared to 1990 baseline levels –will also be made during the three-day event.

The Climate Change Festival runs until Monday June 7, more information can be found at

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