Hello readers! My name is Anastasia, and I'm on the product management and content creation team at Liberare. Today, I wanted to take a moment to talk about an experience that I've had a lot recently and think is really important to speak about. We, as the Liberare team, often travel around meeting other people in the fashion industry and speaking to them about what we do. Each interaction follows a sort of blueprint. They ask what we do, we tell them we create adaptive lingerie for disabled women, and their brows furrow as they ponder it for a moment. Then, they ask, “so what does that mean?"
This is typically followed by similar questions such as, "what makes a bra ‘adaptive’?"
Sometimes, it would be easier to simply say, “oh yeah, we create adaptive clothing for women,” rather than specifically saying "lingerie." It avoids the uncomfortable parts of the conversation and puts people in a realm that they feel more comfortable talking in. When people hear "adaptive clothing" it’s more understandable, or respectable, to them. They’re still confused, but at least it’s not talking about something as intimate, as well, intimates.
So let’s talk about what adaptive lingerie really is and why we need to get more comfortable talking about it. First of all, why is lingerie so important in the first place? Lingerie and undergarments are the first things we put on in the morning. They’re the basis of what we wear and they make us feel secure. Under everything, we have our undergarments that cover us and make us feel safer in what we’re wearing. Some may prefer not to wear undergarments, but for most of us, undergarments are a necessity. So although it seems like a small detail or a slight inconvenience to our everyday wear, those with disabilities may have difficulty putting on undergarments. And, it can be the most frustrating and dehumanizing experience. Although for some, adaptive bras and underwear may not be a solution. But, for many, it can.
So why are we just now getting around to it? In the past decade so many companies have come around and begun offering amazing adaptive clothing options, and yet we still don’t see any adaptive underwear or bras. This is, in part, because the world has always shied away from talking about disabled intimates. Many don’t want to discuss the cliche topic of adaptive bras and underwear because it’s not something that everyone is comfortable with.
But, we need to get comfortable with it because it’s important. We need to start understanding that the benefit it will provide to the lives of disabled people is so much more important than the slight discomfort we experience while talking about it.
Adaptive lingerie has the power to change lives. Being able to use adaptive bras and actually put on underwear yourself, or with more ease, can change the experience of dressing. So when people ask me in the future, "so, you do adaptive lingerie… what does that mean," I’m no longer going to give a short answer that makes them feel more comfortable and moves the conversation along. I’m going to explain that lingerie is the most intimate part of dressing, and it can change someone’s life by being able to put on a pair of underwear.