Disrupting the Culture Norm: Hospital and Recovery Wear for Women
Category disruptors and creators like Uber, Netflix, and Purple continue to benefit our lives. It’s hard to remember a time without these companies. Over the last several decades, we've seen many innovative, beneficial disruptions that make women’s lives easier and better. For example, women went from corsets to bras in 1917, sanitary napkins with clips to tampons in 1931, men’s' razors to those that better serve the needs of women, and now we are seeing trailblazers like Eve McDavid create breakthrough advancements in brachytherapy for the treatment of cervical cancer.
But do you know what hasn't been re-invented?
Hospital gowns and adaptive clothing to support women going through cancer treatment or recovery from illnesses or injuries. The hospital gown was invented by Ellen Dougherty in 1910 and designed for bedpan use. That’s right…the universal hospital, one-size-fits-all gown has not been reinvented in more than 100 years! Nor, has there been serious, scalable, commercial thought put into a patient's cycle of care and recovery until now.
It is time for disruption
There can be logistical and cost challenges when it comes to changing hospital issued clothing. But humans have overcome bigger challenges,e.g.,moon landing.
Wearing one’s own clothing during a hospital stay or after surgery can improve healing and enhance the overall patient experience and emotional wellbeing in several ways:
- Comfort and Familiarity: Wearing familiar and comfortable clothing from home can provide a sense of security. Patients may feel more at ease in their own clothes, contributing to a positive emotional state that can benefit the healing process.
- Improved Emotional Well-Being: Wearing personal clothing can help maintain a sense of identity and autonomy, which is particularly important in a hospital setting where patients may feel stripped of control due to their medical condition. Having the freedom to choose what they wear can uplift patients' spirits and positively influence emotional well-being.
- Increased Mobility and Activity: The current, revealing design of hospital gowns may inhibit a patient’s willingness to be mobile. Thoughtfully designed personal clothing is typically better suited for movement and daily activities, which is essential for patients' physical rehabilitation and recovery.
- Encouragement of Normalcy: Wearing personal clothes helps patients maintain a sense of normalcy and routine, despite being in a hospital environment. This improves the patient's mindset and supports the healing process.
Research supports these notions and can be reviewed in this link.
At KickIt, we believe there are three things that need to be disrupted in a woman's journey for healing from cancer and other illnesses.
- Disrupt the Universal Hospital Gown. Replace the gown with hospital wear that is functional, comfortable, and doesn't make the patient feel and look like...a patient. It’s time to challenge this culture norm and provide hospital and treatment clothing that is higher quality, stylish, specific to body types, and fit for purpose treatments.
- Disrupt the thinking that the comfort and quality of patient clothing doesn’t matter. Research shows that social interactions can hasten the healing process and what a person wears can play a role in their comfort receiving visitors. "I need to get dressed; guests are coming over". Or attend important events in our lives, "I want to attend my daughter's graduation, but can't find anything to accommodate my drains." Clothes matter and can be our armor.
- Disrupt the thinking of 'one size fits all'. Medical researchers are discovering that when we treat someone for their blood type, genetic composite, gender, we make medical advances. This approach should be the same for clothing, adapting to what people wear inside the hospital and out based on their condition and specific needs.
- Disrupt what we give. We are often at a loss on what to give a loved one, friend, or colleague when they tell us they've been diagnosed with cancer or other illness. During this time, it's important to show empathy. Flowers are oftentimes not permissible, food is tricky as the patient can lose their appetite or be averse to certain foods, and, finally, fragrances such as candles or lotions can cause nausea. The gift of comfort and dignity will be a winner every time.
Many factors go into a treatment plan. At KickIt, we are challenging and disrupting the norm in what women wear during treatment for cancer and other illnesses, designing clothing that is fiercely stylish, insanely comfortable, and extremely functional.