Non-Profit Helps Women Through One of the Hardest Parts of Eating Disorder Recovery
Most people realize that recovering from an eating disorder is incredibly difficult, but few understand the smaller details of recovery that can be both mentally and financially challenging – like having to purchase an entirely new wardrobe.
People living with an eating disorder often place a large amount of their self-image and confidence on whether they can or can’t fit into certain clothes. Some aspire to reach a specific size or may be triggered by not fitting into a dress or pair of jeans that used to fit.
This poses a unique challenge throughout recovery, where a person could be triggered or pushed to relapse by the process of shopping for new clothing in new sizes.
A new non-profit called The Garment Project is hoping to tackle this problem head on by directly providing women in recovery with new, tagless, sizeless clothing completely for free. They say they hope to potentially give clients a complete starter wardrobe of clothing that can get them through the first six months of the recovery process.
By partnering with popular clothing stores like Rue21 and Modcloth as well as treatment facilities across the country, The Garment Project is able to ensure women nearing the end of inpatient treatment receive perfectly fitting clothing with no tags or marked sizes which could be potentially triggering.
“This is something that’s missing,” says Garment co-founder Erin Drischler. “No one else is providing this.”
Every woman assisted by the project receives a package a of basic necessities like t-shirts, bras, underwear, and jeans. In addition to this, they receive an individualized, curated, and secure online shopping page helping them find more clothing that matches their unique styles – all for free.
“Our partnerships with the treatment centers give us a platform to find out about women who are at the right point in their recovery process to utilize Garment,” co-founder Jordan Tomb explains. “It’s the foundation for making sure we are able to provide a service that is simple, secure, and most importantly keeps the focus on healthy recovery.”
Drischler says the motivation to start the non-profit came from personal experience as she recovered from an eating disorder.
“I, like everyone else, found myself doing it the harder way again and again,” Drischler tells Revelist. “I would return home to a closet full of clothes that…I would find myself unconsciously striving to fit back into. I was still giving my clothing too much power over my ability to recover.”
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The stress of buying a new wardrobe after treatment is one of the most commonly overlooked hurdles of recovery for many women. Even family members or specialists may not consider how important clothing can be to providing a safe foundation for recovery.
“This is a small and simple trigger in a person’s struggle with their body image, yet for some can spiral them into much larger consequences,” she says. “Clothing has the ability to make you feel powerful. Your favorite outfits can bring special memories, instill confidence for an interview, and provide comfort. We hope that Garment provides an opportunity for women to feel that same courage.”
While the non-profit is currently only providing clothing to women undergoing treatment at six facilities in the United States, they hope to expand to more facilities and to include options for men in the near future.
“Recovery is possible for everyone,” Drischler said. “A few years ago, I could not say that sentence out loud, let alone believe it true for myself … Although each person has a different story and struggle, it is truly possible to live a fully recovered life, free from your eating disorder.”
If you think you or someone you know may be living with an eating disorder, call us at (888) 298-4673. We can answer any questions you have and see if treatment is right for you.