One of the least-discussed parts of recovering from an eating disorder is having to purchase a new wardrobe. Those living with an eating disorder can often tie up a large part of their self-image in the clothes that they can or can't fit into. So as a person makes her recovery, she could easily be triggered into a temporary relapse by the stress of buying a new set of everything that's several sizes bigger or smaller than what she's used to.
That's why Erin Drischler and Jordan Tomb launched The Garment Project this February, to help alleviate some of the anxiety and stress that goes with a new wardrobe. The pair provide clothing that fits to those recovering from an eating disorder by partnering with stores like Rue21 and Modcloth. Users can select clothing from personalized web pages, which is then delivered to them. The sizing information is removed from both the website and the garments themselves. The project is still in the pilot stages, and they're starting small with residential treatment centers.
Drischler found that this problem was personal to her as she's recovered from an eating disorder.
"I, like everyone else, found myself doing it the harder way again and again," Drischler told 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."
Drischler said not to minimize the consequences of buying all-new clothing.
"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 said. "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."
Watch a video about their story below.
If you are struggling with an eating disorder and are in need of support, please call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237. For a 24-hour crisis line, text “NEDA” to 741741.