One in 200 women in America suffers from anorexia, and three in 100 American women suffer from bulimia. After a woman undergoes treatment for an eating disorder, rebuilding her wardrobe with clothes that fit her new, healthy body can be expensive and emotional.
“Going shopping, trying on multiple sizes and being surrounded by mirrors is a vulnerable and ultimately intolerable experience for too many women,” said Erin Drischler, co-founder of The Garment Project.
The Garment Project is a non-profit that aims to empower women recovering from an eating disorder by providing them with new clothing individualized for their healthy bodies and lifestyles.
Garment will be partnering with treatment centers across the country to serve as many women as possible, including those in the Pittsburgh area. They hope to be able to eventually provide this service to any male or female in need.
Working with client’s treatment teams, Garment will attain women’s accurate measurements and information about their style and personalities. Each woman will be given a “basics package,” including t-shirts, bras, underwear and jeans. Garment then will build an individualized shopping website for each woman so she can pick items she likes from Garment’s selection of new, never worn clothing donations. Garment will remove all tags and sizing information from the items and ship them out within a week.
Drischler’s own struggles recovering from an eating disorder inspired her to create the organization.
“After months of hard work, I would return home to a closet full of clothes that at one point filled me with such (false) confidence, I would find myself unconsciously striving to fit back into them,” Drischler said. “My closet ranged in sizes, but a lot of them brought up negative memories. I could not afford to buy myself a brand new wardrobe- treatment is expensive. Trying on clothes was overwhelming and quickly revealed my new size.”
Drischler knew there had to be others out there struggling in similar ways, and she wanted to help them. She and Jordan Tomb began talking about Garment more than two years ago, and they worked together to launch the project and begin their initial partnerships.
“Jordan was one of my biggest supporters throughout the last years of my struggle—so much so that he decided to marry me,” Drischler said.
The goal of The Garment Project is to empower women and build confidence in their recovery by removing the first trigger women face as they transition back into their daily life.
Drischler said, “We are not just giving clothing that fits, we are allowing our client to build confidence in other aspects of her life while tackling the worst part—body image.”
If you’d like to support this cause, Garment is accepting online donations. They will be in need of volunteers very soon, and they encourage anyone who is interested to follow them for updates.