A beautifully created “rooibos bra” will soon be auctioned in an effort help women who have been affected by breast cancer. The bra has been made out of donated rooibos tea bags from people across the country.
The unconventional idea, which is the brainchild of the SA Rooibos Council (SARC), Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) and lingerie retailer, Storm in A-G Cup, has been months in the making. The masterpiece was unveiled on Tuesday to mark the start of October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Adele du Toit, spokesperson for the SA Rooibos Council, said they have been overwhelmed by the support from the public as thousands of “used and dried” rooibos tea bags poured in from around South Africa.
“While only 450 rooibos tea bags were used in the final design, the bulk of the donated tea bags was used to trial various styles. Rooibos tea was specifically chosen as it contains powerful antioxidants that help fight inflammation, a leading cause of cancer,” she said.
“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,” added Du Toit.
The beautiful bra will be auctioned in a few weeks at a high-profile fundraising dinner in aid of CANSA’s women’s education programmes. Lucy Balona, spokesperson for CANSA, says she hopes as interest continues to build around the rooibos bra, that women both young and old heed the call for regular breast screenings and examinations.
“Detecting breast cancer early means a much higher survival rate. Regular screenings and mammograms are critical. We need to have less women affected by cancer and having to face that journey,” said Balona.
Isla Lovell, owner of Storm in A-G Cup said they have never shied away from a challenge and creatively it was a very rewarding project to work on. “We were immediately drawn to the idea as we often use rooibos tea to dye our undergarments and have always flown the flag high for breast cancer survivors – our extensive mastectomy bra range is a testament to this,” she expressed.
“It’s a true work of art! Not only is it exquisite, but all the proceeds raised will help to save more lives through education and early detection,” said Balona.