The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders states that approximately eight million people in the US have anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and other related eating disorders. Unrealistic standards are constantly emphasizing the “ideal” image of how we’re expected to look, and as a woman involved in an industry that is so focused on body image, I’m constantly taking the necessary steps to address this issue and encouraging others to do the same. National Eating Disorders Awareness week, referred to by the National Eating Disorders Association as #NEDAwareness Week, is a way of shining a spotlight on eating disorders and emphasizing the need to put life-saving resources into the hands of those in need. By shattering the stigma placed on those with eating disorders and stressing the importance of loving your body and maintaining a body-positive lifestyle, we’re one step closer towards fighting the struggle with eating disorders all together. Here are 5 companies that not only offer quality products but also donate a percentage of their profits to eating disorder campaigns while promoting body-positivity and self-love.
American Eagle’s Aerie has partnered with the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) as the lead sponsor of the non-profits ongoing national walks awareness program, NEDA Walk. Save a Life, an organization that raises funds for advocacy and educational programs, spreads awareness about the seriousness of eating disorders, and provides support for the local community. NEDA holds more than 65 walks each year in cities across the nation. Aerie has already made a corporate commitment to body-positivity in its advertising and marketing materials by pledging to no longer retouch their models in any way. They promote campaigns such as #aerieREAL, #LoveYourSelfie, and #ShareYourSpark (which featured TRUE's own, Jaclyn S.), which promote body positivity and teach girls to love themselves the way they are.
2. Sweet Cavanagh Jewellery
Free Me, a London based charity, is the owner of Sweet Cavanagh. This charity provides free care and support to women recovering from eating disorders and addictions. In addition to providing support and motivation, they also give their members a platform to become self-employed as jewelry designers and creators, which empowers them in ways they could not have imagined when in the depths of their illness. Women have access to individual and group therapy, drama and movement therapy, and individual and group nutritional counseling with a registered dietician. All profits from Sweet Cavanagh jewelry sales go back into the Free Me Charity.
3. Wear Your Label
Founded by Kayley Reed and Kyle MacNevin, Wear Your Label is a clothing line that was created as a means to fight the stigma surrounding mental illness. The clothing line features shirts with saying such as “It’s Okay Not to Be Okay.” These messages of self-care and self-love are conversation starters that will help to chip away at the stigma surrounding mental health, creating conversations meant to inform, educate, and unite individuals. Wear Your Label also features awareness bracelets for mental health disorders, including eating disorders. 10% of all purchases of clothing and their bracelets are donated to related mental health organizations and initiatives.
Modcloth prides themselves on being a fun, friendly company that’s expressive and unique. Committed to inspiring personal style and helping their community and customers feel like the best version of themselves, their exclusive line of apparel is available in a full range of sizes – because they believe fashion is for every body. Modcloth became the first fashion company to sign the Heroes Pledge for Advertisers – a pledge that recognizes the importance of protecting children from the effects of “photoshopped” ads. The petition asks advertisers to “do [their] best not to change the shape, size, proportion, color and/or remove/enhance the physical features” of their models. Modcloth does not feature professional models on their site – they take the acts of self- love and body positivity to the next level.
5. Lonely Lingerie
Helene Morris, Director of Lonely Girl Lingerie wanted to show that lingerie imagery could be beautiful and natural, and that’s exactly what this brand did. Lonely celebrates the strength and individuality of women by fostering a sense of positive body image and freedom of expression via the Lonely Girls Project, a journal featuring candid portraits of women around the world in their own spaces wearing Lonely their own way. Representatives of Lonely Lingerie urge women to love their body and exemplify the importance of self-love and self-acceptance.