When Mariela Rovito and Ali Mejia founded Eberjey in 1996, they had the idea of starting a clothing brand that focused on loungewear for women in their twenties.
As time progressed and the company grew, the business partners saw a void in comfortable clothing for the “young mom,” – type of client – who has young kids at home and stays active, but also wants to be comfortable and cute.
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“We are a business that was started by women, for women,” Rovito said. “ [We] wanted to make a collection that women would be excited to wear, and it’s a brand that brings comfort without compromising fit, design quality…we started with sleepwear and intimates and then expanded into cover-ups.”
With their twentieth year of business approaching, and two stores in Miami selling various options of loungewear and intimates, Rovito and Mejia embarked on a new journey; helping promote the recycling of delicately used bras for women that are lacking them.
“It’s a garment of clothing that women really need,” Rovito added.
For the month of October, also known as cancer awareness month and domestic violence awareness month, Eberjey is collaborating with The Bra Recyclers, by helping them reach their goal of collecting 15,000 bras, through a bra drive.
They set up collection stations at both their Miami retail stores and have a goal of collecting 500 bras. Customers who do participate in the bra recycling mission will also receive a 15% discount in a purchase of a new Eberjey bra.
Rovito and Mejia believe that the cause is relevant to their product category and business, and that is why they got involved.
When the CEO and founder of The Bra Recyclers, was contacted by Eberjey, she saw how her initiative was spreading and it had caught the attention of the Miami retailer.
“Most people are not aware that a bra is such an important article of clothing, particularly for women in transition,” said Elaine Birks-Mitchell, who founded The Bra Recyclers in 2008. “We have a drawer full of them, but then until you don’t have one, you don’t realize how much you need one. It’s definitely a self-esteem booster.”
The Bra Recyclers started in Phoenix in 2008, after Birks-Mitchell had worked at a woman’s shelter and realized the lack of bras that there were for women in transition, as recovered victims of domestic violence and breast cancer survivors who needed specific styles of the garment.
When she learned that 95% of bra textiles could be recycled, yet only 15% are, she saw the need in bringing awareness to the cause.
“We have a lot of people out there who want to do something, and when you think about it, it’s pretty easy; it’s really asking women to go in their drawers and pull out bras that they’re not wearing,” she added.