WHY BRAS FOR GIRLS?
+ Youth sports are very important and beneficial.
+ Nationally, only 20% of girls engage in at least 60 minutes of daily physical activity, a lower rate than boys. Girls’ participation drops off significantly from ages 10-17.
+ Identified barriers include lack of financial means, lack of role models, and concerns about body changes including breast development and the need for a sports bra.
+ The simple intervention of a sports bra along with the normalization of body development can change the trajectory of a girl’s relationship with body movement for her whole life.
Oiselle founded the Bras for Girls program in 2017 through a confluence of ideas, needs, and product circumstances. In 2016, the Portsmouth University “Bra Lab” in the UK published a comprehensive schoolgirl survey that reported:
+ 46% of girls reported their breasts affected their sports and exercise participation.
+ More than 50% of girls did not wear a sports bra with exercise.
+ 87% of girls wanted to know more about breast development.
+ 44% wanted to know more about sports bras and breasts in sport.
+ “I can’t find the right sports bra” and “I am embarrassed by excessive breast movement” were identified barriers.
+ 73% of girls reported at least one breast-specific concern in relation to sports and exercise
At this same time, Oiselle happened to have extra bra inventory available for donation; the leadership team put two and two together, and kicked off the Bras for Girls donation program in spring of 2017.
The first program with Runners for a Better Oakland confirmed that girls + sports bras + education = a winning formula.
As the Bras for Girls requests multiplied, it became apparent that this program was bigger than one company. Requests grew every year, and the needs were becoming more evident. In 2021, Bras for Girls spun off to its own 501c3 non-profit and received its IRS determination letter in February of 2022.
We are thrilled to be expanding our reach to more and more girls, and working with more and more athletic brands, including major sponsors Brooks, Oiselle, and Reebok.
WHAT DOES BRAS FOR GIRLS DO?
Bras for Girls donates new, high quality sports bras and breast development education booklets to girls in need, ages 8-18. Recipient programs include sports teams, school programs, community programs, and other initiatives that elevate girls’ access to sports.
HOW DOES BRAS FOR GIRLS WORK?
+ It’s easy for programs to request bras. Once the request is approved, as long as there is sufficient inventory, bras and booklets are shipped out!
+ Bra inventory is donated by quality athletic apparel brands, including our founding partner, Oiselle, Reebok, Brooks, and many others. Additional needed bra inventory may be purchased at cost by Bras for Girls.
+ Bras for Girls looks to support and work with organizations already positively impacting communities. It takes a village and we’re happy to be a part of the girls’ sports ecosystem.