An uplifting show of support

To most Australian women, bras are an everyday inclusion into their wardrobe, with many different types to suit different occasions.

These everyday adornments may seem to be an essential, but in areas of low economic status, a bra can represent affluence.

As part of the Uplift Project, which collects new and used bras from developed countries and distributes them to women in poverty who cannot afford them, Traralgon store Runway 59 is acting as a ‘drop-off point’.

New and used bras can be left at the shop until the end of July with the drive aiming to collect as many bras from the Gippsland community as possible.

Runway 59 owner Wendy Bezzina implored women in the community to get on board and said “all sizes, all shapes and all colours are welcome”.

“It doesn’t matter how fancy or plain they are, get behind it, support women who have got less than what we have,” she said.

According to the Uplift Project, it is more common than not for a group of women living in poverty to share one bra or only own one bra for special occasions.

“Women appreciate the common dignity of a bra for business or social occasions,” Uplift Victorian spokesperson Liz Baker said.

The cause not only stands for empowering women with dignity, but also takes hygiene and practical aspects into account.

“Bras control breast swing when women bend to garden or cook at ground level,” Ms Baker said.

“In humid climates rashes, fungal infections and abscesses occur between the breast and the chest wall; bras help by allowing air circulation.

“Nursing mums everywhere leak and bras allow the dignity of a dry shirt and the comfort of support.

“A thrush rash on a mother’s skin may spread to her baby’s mouth, and then back into the breast itself.”

So far, Uplift has sent bras to Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Cook Islands, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Philippines, Bali, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, the Northern Territory and the Kimberley regions in Australia.

To make your business a drop-off point, for more information or to run a bra drive visit