In an inspiring display of creativity and philanthropy, churchgoer Wendy Howell has made selling underwear into the perfect church fundraiser.
Wendy transforms unwanted bras from a nearby charity shop into financial donations for her local church, St Barnabas in Emmer Green and Caversham Park.
Each month, she receives bags full of new and second-hand bras that would otherwise be sent to landfill. Instead, Wendy sorts, photographs, and sells the bras on the second-hand clothing site Vinted.
The venture began in June 2021 when Wendy discovered the potential of selling second-hand clothing and decided to use her skills to fundraise for her local church. Since then, she has successfully sold over 500 bras, raising more than £1,100 in donations.
Wendy's lifelong passion for fundraising and commitment to her Christian faith have driven her efforts: "I’ve been fundraising for over 30 years.
“Ever since my children were small, I’ve enjoyed fundraising in the local community, being part of something creative and hosting events at the church to help support our mission and ministry."
Environmental consciousness plays a key role in Wendy's initiative. Unsold bras are donated to breast cancer charities, minimizing waste. Furthermore, she repurposes cardboard boxes and uses tissue paper instead of plastic wrapping when packaging the items.
"Prolonging the life of clothing and stopping items from going to landfill is one of the ways we can help reduce waste," says Wendy. "I’m one of those people who doesn’t throw anything away and always think of a new way to repurpose items."
Wendy also emphasizes the importance of providing affordable underwear options for those struggling financially: "It’s also about helping those who are less well-off to access good quality and affordable underwear, particularly as we are seeing many households struggling with the present cost-of-living."