What do we do with them? We donate the gently used bras to different organizations locally and abroad. We just sent another 2000 down to Mexico. I am in the process of putting together strapless bras for girls graduating that are in need.
The nasty ones we harvest for parts, wires specially. When you break a wire this is were they come from. We take off hooks and eyes, findings, wires, tabs, channelling and all sorts of parts that are needed to do the minor free repairs, on the bras that are ours.
When should a bra be replaced? The bra may look perfectly fine but lately you notice while wearing it that you are fussing with it. Pull bands down, moving straps around, trying to lift the cups, just not as comfy as it use to be. This is a sure sign it is time to trade it in. I personally just noticed this with one of my bras that I have been wearing all winter.....it is time!
No more stretch to elastics or the elastic is all wavy. 50% of your support comes from the band fitting correctly.
Channelling is disintegrating under the arm and the wires keep popping out, even with our minor fix of a tab. Body oils, perspiration and the heavy use of deodorants or body powder really eat away at bras.
Cups seem to be loose or baggy and no matter how you adjust the band or straps there is no lift left. 25% of your support comes from the structure of the cup, specially the foam cups and those ones are hard to tell when they are done.
When the layers come off your want to look perky and young breasted, make sure your have a new bra to lift those girls.