Nordstrom has begun recycling bras in a program inspired by its new partnership with the Harper Wilde bra brand.
Harper Wilde was founded in 2016 by Jane Fisher and Jenna Kerner on a mission to disrupt the bra business. They believed bras were oversexualized, overpriced and not particularly comfortable.
Harper Wilde has been direct-to-consumer only, but now it’s available at five Nordstrom stores — Century City, L.A.; 57th Street in Manhattan; Michigan Avenue in Chicago; Northpark in Dallas, and Tigard, Ore. — where there’s also bra recycling bins. Any bra, not just Harper Wilde bras, can be dropped in the bins for recycling. Nordstrom is also selling Harper Wilde bras on its own website.
The brand’s distribution expansion via Nordstrom comes on the heels of the company’s latest bra launch, The Lounge, which Harper Wilde promotes as blending style with comfort with its “velvety, ribbed fabric on the outside and buttery soft jersey material on the inside.”
“There is a true authenticity in the way the brand shows up by delivering product that is comfortable, accessible, inclusive and cause driven,” said Lori Marten, vice president and divisional merchandise manager for men’s and women’s active, intimate, sleepwear, swim and performance outerwear for Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack. “We are committed to our goals around sustainability and we encourage our customers to participate by making it easy and convenient with the support of Harper Wilde. We could not think of a better time to launch this partnership than during Earth Month.”
“Nordstrom was a natural choice for us. Not only do we have strong overlap in our core customer, but we also share brand values and a commitment to textile recycling,” said Kerner, cofounder and co-chief executive officer of Harper Wilde. “They knew their customer was looking for high-quality basics at a fair price, and with our inclusive sizing and color offering, it was a natural fit on both sides. Nordstrom also has their own recycling program, so we knew they would understand and appreciate our commitment to recycling bras.”
Kerner said she launched the industry’s first bra recycling program — “Recycle, Bra” — in 2019, recognizing the need to minimize the company’s impact on the planet and to keep as many bras as possible out of landfills.
The recycled materials are upcycled into yarns and fabrics, while others are downcycled into things like filling stock or padding. To date, shoppers have recycled more than 38,000 bras through the program, which is on track to recycle 50,000-plus by the end of 2021, according to Kerner.
Furthering it’s do-good philosophy, Harper Wilde donates 1 percent of proceeds to Girls Inc., which provides mentorship and educational programming for girls ages six to 18.