A Co Antrim woman who launched a clothing brand focused on inclusion says the support she has received has been overwhelming.
Drew Clarke is the owner of Unalteredd who aims to bring a level of comfort and confidence to anyone who wears leggings.
Ahead of the 2021 launch, Drew spoke to women of all backgrounds and made sure she left no one out of the way when designing and creating – and her leggings are now being praised by wheelchair users and ostomy bag users alike.
Speaking to The Postedia, Drew said: “I started my own freelance business journey in 2017 and it all came from my love of making women feel good. I really thrive around other people. It ended very suddenly and I did it.” Without expecting it, I thought it was time to look to the future and see what I could do next.
“Covid was just a big blow for everyone. For me, I wanted to build a business that I love and am passionate about, but that will also make people feel good. I thought about what I could do as a person and when it could in turn benefit others.
“I used to wear leggings but couldn’t find one that was comfortable and gave me confidence. It sounds weird that I mentioned confidence with leggings, but because I lived in them, I wanted to feel comfortable in them. Everything started.
“Unalteredd was born, and the name embraces the brand simply because it promotes self-love. You don’t have to change to adapt. Our main product will be leggings, but we have hoodies and other items that come out every few months.
“For me and many of my friends, especially at your time of the month, I find that the leggings band can be so restrictive and uncomfortable. I wanted to tick every box, I wanted the leggings dressed with high heels or on a comfortable walk, to the gym, in a wheelchair and for those who have a ostomy bag and have had problems with leggings in the past.
“Before I started I knew a girl who had a stoma bag and when I had samples made I contacted her to ask her opinion on leggings. I wanted to make leggings that stay up, but not too tight around the waist. The response was great.
“‘Never let the fear of quitting stop you from playing the game’ is my favorite quote of all time. If it’s the fear of judgment or failure… if you don’t try, you never will don’t know, you owe it to yourself.”
Drew says with big future plans for the Unchanged “sisterhood,” she wants to continue empowering women, especially those who are nervous about starting their own business or pursuing a dream.
She added: “Our leggings are for everyone. We’re expanding our size range so we’re going from XXS to XXXL because we want to include every possible person. We’re only going for a year so you can’t do everything, but we’ve big plans for the future and want to be fully inclusive.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better support system. My husband has a full-time job, but he also came on board and he was great as a director.
“My friends live in their leggings, and I think my sister and mom have all the colors. It’s so much fun to make other people buzz and I love it when I’m out and about and see my leggings. It gives me great pleasure.
“We are an association. A community of women who want to build and support each other. There is room for everyone.”
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Source: Bel Fast Live