Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Schools Find Use for Fabric in Undies Maidenform Made Donation

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Schools Find Use for Fabric in Undies Maidenform Made Donation

Article excerpt

Enter a Duval County school art class and you're bound to a see a creation made from women's undergarments.

When Maidenform Inc. donated 23 truckloads of brassiere straps, underpants elastic and other intimate apparel materials to the school system three years ago, some school officials chuckled.

"That's one of my favorites. Can you believe it?" said Jack Saye, the school system's recycling and solid waste specialist. "Every part of the bra was there."

Some thought the items would never be used, said Chris Buckley, coordinator of the Teacher Supply Depot, a warehouse of materials donated by businesses.

How wrong they were, said Buckley, who has created a display of samples including three-dimensional roses with fiberfill cups serving as petals and Easter eggs made by joining two U-shaped underwires to form an oval.

"It's wonderful," said Christi Veleta, program administrator for the city's environmental protection board. "Recycling isn't just putting things in your blue bin."

It is saving the schools thousands of dollars, Saye said.

Officials from Maidenform's corporate office in New Jersey say the company donates a lot of materials.

"It is exciting and wonderful to hear that it is being put to good use," said Hope Sunshine, Maidenform's senior vice president for human relations.

Students have woven bra straps into potholders and worn them as bracelets -- red bra straps for Just Say No to Drugs week and purple for Victory over Violence Week.

Bra bows have served as bow ties for gingerbread men and adornments for Valentine cards.

Parent volunteers and students are using lace trim, satin, Lycra, fiberfill and other fabrics donated by Maidenform -- 30,000 yards -- to create costumes for plays.

Underpants elastic has secured homemade bonnets on little heads. A four-foot loop of it makes a Chinese jump rope. …

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