Real Talk With Erin Drischler Of The Garment Project

Erin Drischler founded The Garment Project, a non-profit that aims to empower women recovering from eating disorders by providing them with new, size-less clothing, individualized for their healthy bodies and lifestyles. We got to know Erin and the story behind her incredible non-profit—read on for more.

Real Talk With Erin Drischler Of The Garment Project

 

What inspired you to start The Garment Project?

I wanted to start telling a different story. There were so many years where I felt stuck in a loop as the ‘sick girl’. I decided that I want to be a voice for those who feel that same hopelessness. For me, clothing and sizing was a huge part of my eating disorder recovery. Returning home from treatment to a closet full of clothes that didn’t fit my body or soul is a struggle that not many in recovery think of prior to it staring them in the face for the first time. Between my fiancé, Jordan, and myself, our careers, hobbies, and talents seemed to give us the expertise needed to try to make a difference.

We recognized that there needed to be a way for someone to maintain their focus on recovery and not their size, even when finding new clothes. We decided that partnering directly with treatment facilities would give us the information we needed about each candidate Garment works with in a private and healthy way. From there, we needed to give each individual a unique shopping experience. Garment created an online tool that allows us to make a new, personalized shopping page for each candidate containing only items in our inventory that we believe matches both their needs and lifestyle. With the help of hard-working and talented people, we believe Garment will change the recovery process and a lot of lives along the way.

Can you tell us a bit more about the power sizing in clothing can have over women and what they can do to overcome it?

Each time I went through treatment, I would learn new skills or bits of information that would improve some of my behaviors and way of thinking. I would usually leave with a feeling of confidence and that I had worked hard to make important changes in my lifestyle. Yet I would find myself in the same place: back at home, day one of no longer having the security of an inpatient treatment team, trying to get ready for class. I was alone in my room staring at a closet full of clothes that no longer fit my body or recovered lifestyle. It was a terrible feeling.

For a long time I used clothes to fuel my eating disorder. It isn’t uncommon to use clothing sizes as benchmarks. I kept and used my old clothes as a means of body checking, or seeing if weight had been gained or not. After several cycles through the treatment loop, I had been convinced to throw away my scale. My eating disorder didn’t need a scale anymore because I had my ‘sick clothes’. I remember one dress in particular that would reveal my current weight based on how it fit. I didn’t have the financial stability or even the courage to box everything up and start over.

Clothing and fashion are personal and powerful ways to express yourself. It is exciting and the easiest way to express your individuality. I was missing the thing I used to love about getting dressed each day. I wanted to be able to pick my outfit based on my mood or whatever side of my personality was stronger that morning, but I was stuck with a wardrobe that had so many negative associations attached to it that I couldn’t feel confident about anything that I had to choose from.

What’s next for The Garment Project?

We are focused on bettering our service and expanding our reach. This year, we are going to be working hard to spread our message and let people know that we’re a resource for people who have done amazing work for themselves and are learning how to lead a healthier life. Of course, Garment is always learning and growing too. It’s a priority for us to be able to expand our service to men and hopefully we’ll make significant progress on that this year as well.

What makes you #AerieREAL?

It took a few years of practice and slips, but I have a completely new relationship with food, my body, and myself. My eating disordered thoughts once consumed my life, paralyzing me from living a life I was proud of. I am three years into recovery and I still feel pride and excitement when I catch myself in control. I eat when I’m hungry and until I am full, and I always order exactly what I want. When I look at a photo of myself, I no longer examine every dimple or imperfection. I am able to see the happiness on my face because that’s what is most important to me now. I learned how to be more patient with people I care about, and forgive others when they might not have met my expectations. The food finally came second to the relationships, which was one of the most important steps in accepting my recovery.

Living this recovered life had not only led me to accept my body and soul, but truly love and embrace what I have to offer. I’m proud of my recovery and the messy, motivating experiences I went through. It is important to us that we be champions of recovery and show those that are struggling how beautiful recovered life can be.

 

Want to learn more about The Garment Project? Check out their website here.

 

 

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Give Real. Our Gift Guide Is Here!

We shopped for you! From pom-tastic presents to our coziest sweats, find something for every girl on your list with this season’s holiday gift guide. Read on for our must-get, must-give gifts and shop them all here.

Give Real. Our Gift Guide Is Here!

Most Giftable

Sweaters and Skivvies and City Sweatshirts, oh yes! Our Most Giftable faves this year are all kinds of cozy.

Give Real. Our Gift Guide Is Here!

PJ Mix & Match

Sweet dreams are made of these! Make a matching set with NEW Sleep Leggings, or mix flannel tops and bottoms for a set that’s all you.

Give Real. Our Gift Guide Is Here!

Want a shortie sleep set instead? Our new Sleep Skivvies put the ZZZ in cozy!

Give Real. Our Gift Guide Is Here!

Give Cozy

Give the gift of warmth, starting with this season’s softest new cable knit, chenille and boucle sweaters.

Give Real. Our Gift Guide Is Here!

Stocking Stuffers 

CUTENESS OVERLAD! Get your pom on with Pom-Tastic Hats, Snoods and Slippers, then add a mix and match pom to snap on! Give Real. Our Gift Guide Is Here!

Undie Bundles

Wrap up this season’s best sets, from prints & patterns to logo love to soft & cozy new fabrics.

Give Real. Our Gift Guide Is Here!

What are you gifting the girls on your list this holiday? Comment below and tell us!

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BACK TO SCHOOL JUST GOT WAY CUTER

School days = Aerie days. Need a little inspiration for your first week? Here’s 5 looks to start your year right!

BUT FIRST: YOUR FIRST-DAY LOOK.

On your first day, you want something comfy and casual, but still put together. New bodysuits, bralettes and booties do all that and more!

BACK TO SCHOOL JUST GOT WAY CUTER

 

WEAR OUT. STAY IN. LOOK CUTE. 

PJ pants that you can wear out… need we say more? If you’re running from class to work or an internship, this look is ready for anything.

BACK TO SCHOOL JUST GOT WAY CUTER

 

SUMMER TRANSITIONS

You may be wishing for fall, but summer style is still in. A lightweight dress with a cozy sweater makes the transition easy.

BACK TO SCHOOL JUST GOT WAY CUTER

 

LATE NIGHT RECOVERY 

For the mornings after the nights you stayed up too late studying, you need something extra comfy and casual. Throw on our fave new Street Sweatshirt and Chill. Play. Move.™ Leggings and go!

BACK TO SCHOOL JUST GOT WAY CUTER

 

OUR STYLIST’S FAVE

Our stylist is all about all the ways to wear the little black legging. Make them classy with a gold necklace and rose gold bag, and pull it all together with a new poncho.

BACK TO SCHOOL JUST GOT WAY CUTER

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Real Gifts Made With Love: Sweater Patches

Ugly Cute sweater parties start here!

What you need:

  • Cozy sweater
  • Red felt
  • Red thread
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Paper

What to do:

  1. Draw heart
  2. Cut it out
  3. Trace heart onto felt
  4. Cut it out
  5. Sew onto elbow (or wherever your heart desires!)
  6. Holiday party ready!

What are your DIY gifts this year? Comment below & tell us!

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