Bra made out of rooibos tea goes on auction for breast cancer awareness

Model Sarah-Jane Thomas stuns in a bra made almost entirely of Rooibos tea bags.
Model Sarah-Jane Thomas stuns in a bra made almost entirely of Rooibos tea bags.
Image: Supplied

A bra made up almost entirely of rooibos tea leaves has been created by a lingerie brand to bring awareness to breast cancer.

In a statement released by the SA Rooibos Council on Tuesday, it was confirmed that the bra will be put on auction to raise money for CANSA’s (Cancer Association of SA's) women’s education programmes.

“The masterpiece was unveiled today to mark the start of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October and will be auctioned in a few weeks at a high-profile fundraising dinner in aid of CANSA’s women’s education programmes,” read the statement.

Spokesperson for SA Rooibos Council Adele du Toit said thousands of South Africans donated their used rooibos tea bags to make the bra.

“While only 450 Rooibos tea bags were used in the final design, the bulk of the donated tea bags were used to trial various styles. Rooibos tea was specifically chosen as it contains powerful antioxidants that help fight inflammation – a leading cause of cancer. An added benefit is that Rooibos tea naturally stains the tea bags red, which created the depth in colour we were aiming for, while creating awareness of Rooibos’ cancer-fighting properties,” she said.

It took lingerie brand Storm in A-G Cup months to create the masterpiece. Owner Isla Lovell said they were open to the idea because they often use rooibos tea to dye their material.

“Our primary challenge came with using Rooibos tea bags for a garment that inherently relies on stretch to fit, so we had to adapt the material to the final product. We were surprised at how versatile a product Rooibos is – we experimented with the leaves, tea bags and even made beads from the packaging. Pretty much all the detail, including the delicate rose, have been fashioned from Rooibos tea bags.

“The colouring process was the trickiest part as the final look was very much reliant on how the tea bags took to the dye. We used both Rooibos tea leaves and natural pigment powders to dye the tea bags. It took us several months and four prototypes later until we settled on a design,” said Lovell.

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