Wacoal and Triumph, two lingerie brands, have been collecting old bras from customers to turn them into refuse paper and plastic fuel (RPF) which will then power boilers and generators.
Unlike other apparel, undergarments cannot be resold or repurposed. This makes the end of life option for underwear to be likely destined to the landfill. A bra is usually made of different types of textiles as well as metal. This complex composition makes it difficult for the bra to be repurposed into a new textile product. By stripping the metal from the garment, it can easily be renewed as RPF.
Wacoal and Triumph currently collects old bras from customers in Japan at their retail outlets. Wacoal also has extended this program to Taiwan. It appears that the recycling program has been a success so far. Since 2009, Triumph has collected 200,000 bras and converted that into 14 tons of RFP. Wacoal has collected 179,200 for 17.9 tons.
Recycling bras kills two birds with one stone – http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20111016a7.html