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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STYLIST’S PICKS: LOVE YOURSELF!

Show your support! In honor of #NEDAwareness week, Erin styled 3 looks featuring our limited-edition NEDA tee & undies, with 100% of sales of each item benefitting the non-profit that supports those affected by eating disorders. This week, these are more than just 3 outfits. They’re 3 ways to love yourself, just as you are!

STYLIST'S PICKS: LOVE YOURSELF!

#1: WEAR WHAT FEELS GOOD

Bralettes are always the obvious choice when you want to wear something that makes you feel good. Put this Padded Plunge Bralette under your Limited-Edition NEDA Tee, wear your fave jean shorts for sunshine and accessorize with our Denim Baseball Hat and So Fly Aviator Sunnies.

 

 

STYLIST'S PICKS: LOVE YOURSELF!

#2: TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF

Chill. Play. Move. Leggings are always the best way to show yourself some love. Tie up your tee and pair it with our new printed Move High Waisted Legging, and wear our Play Strappy Back Sports Bra underneath to be ready for whatever your day brings.

 

 

STYLIST'S PICKS: LOVE YOURSELF!

#3: LOVE THE SWIM YOU’RE IN!

Bring body positivity to the beach and beyond! Sport your Super Scoop One Piece Swimsuit even more proudly by wearing your NEDA Tee on top, and add our super soft Denim Short on the bottom when you’re out of the pool. And remember…. for every unretouched swim photo you share with #AerieREAL, we’ll donate $1 (up to $25K) to NEDA. Because EVERY body is a beach body.

 

 

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Love The Swim You’re In Is BACK!

For the third year in a row, we want #AerieREAL girls everywhere to LOVE THE SWIM YOU’RE IN! Last year, you helped us raise more than $15K for the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA).

Check out some inspo from the amazing photos YOU posted last year.

This year, our campaign is back and bigger than ever! This spring and summer, we’ll donate $1 (now up to $25,000!) to NEDA for every unretouched swim photo or video you share with #AerieREAL. Start sharing and YOU could be featured on social or in our store windows this spring and summer!

Follow us on Instagram and Twitter, and start sharing! Tell us why you love the swim you’re in, and encourage your friends to share, too. Because EVERY body is a perfect beach body..

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YOU Helped Us Raise $10K For NEDA!

WE LOVE THE SWIM YOU’RE IN!

Thanks to you, we reached our initial goal and we’ve raised $10,000 for the National Eating Disorders Association! Since March 20th, we’ve seen more than 10,000 of your amazing unretouched swim photos on social. And thanks to you, we’re still going! Post your unretouched swim photos with #AerieREAL and we’ll donate $1 (now up to $15K!) to NEDA.

Check out some of the 10,000 #AerieREAL girls who love the swim they’re in!

 

Guys, this is two days in a row that I haven't dreaded looking at my body! This is HUGE! So yes I will show my body proudly, I work so hard to learn to love myself. This isn't for anyone else this is for ME. Happy Sunday, I hope you all feel beautiful today. You don't have to be beautiful like her, you can be beautiful like YOU! Love your body, every curve, bump, roll, mark, it makes you YOU and no one on this earth has that power. Not going to lie I used to be and still am sometimes terrified of summer time. Bikinis, showing skin, knowing damn well I haven't prepared (why prepare wtf) for summer. NEWS FLASH: you don't have to ever prepare for any season, any clothing, any event. Screw dieting, screw torturing yourself to fit into a certain type of clothing because you're scared you won't look like everyone else. You won't ever look like anyone else and that's 100% okay because you are you and they are them and both are equally beautiful. No body shaming. No beauty standards. Build up others, don't tear them down. 💪🏽🌸 • • • #edrecovery #recovery #BDD #stopbodyshaming #fatphobia #bopo #bopowarrior #unretouched #aeriereal #neda #aerie #nowrongwaytohaveabody #everybodyisbeauitful #everybuttisbeautiful #myflawsarefierce #realbodies #allbodiesarerealbodies #cellulitesaturday #embracethesquish

A post shared by B 🐝 (@betteringbecca) on

 

Now it’s your turn! Post you unretouched swim photos with #AerieREAL & help us raise money for NEDA. You can share in whatever swim you’re in, doesn’t have to be Aerie. Happy grammin’!

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Love The Swim You’re In! #AerieREAL

 

Love the swim you’re in! For the second year in a row, we’re asking #AerieREAL girls to help us bring body positivity to the beach and beyond. For every 100% unretouched swim photo you post with #AerieREAL, we’ll donate $1 (up to $10,000) to the National Eating Disorders Association.

To keep up with all the love, follow us on Twitter and Instagram. And share your photos! Tell us why YOU love the swim you’re in and encourage your friends to join, too. Because EVERY body is a perfect beach body.

 

 

 

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ERIN’S OUTFIT OF THE WEEK: STRONG. BEAUTIFUL. YOU!

Happy #NEDAwareness week! Celebrate your strong & beautiful self with OUR stylist’s outfit of the week.

ERIN’S OUTFIT OF THE WEEK: STRONG. BEAUTIFUL. YOU!Shop Erin’s Look: Limited-Edition NEDA Tee | Fleece Crew Sweatshirt | Chill Hi-Rise Legging | Happy Unlined Plunge Bra | Aerie Shine Boybrief | Round Sunglasses | Baseball Hat | Court Sneaker

This week’s look features our Limited-Edition NEDA Tee: shop it and we’ll donate 100% of sales to the National Eating Disorders Association, a non-profit that supports individuals and families affected by eating disorders. If you’re staying active with a NEDA walk this week, wear your Chill Hi-Rise Legging and layer with our Fleece Crew Sweatshirt.

As always, love the REAL you!

 

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