A Birmingham company has developed a new bra for older and disabled women which replaces traditional fastenings with magnets.
Adaptawear has worked with Coventry University’s Health Design and Technology Institute (HDTI) to bring its front-fastening bra – the latest product in its range of adaptive clothing for men and women – to market. CoreBra has large finger loops to make dressing easier and is also proving extremely popular with carers.
CoreBra is the brainchild of Kavita Chauhan, managing director of Adaptawear.
“I am an optician by profession and used to work as a locum in nursing homes, hospitals and other healthcare environments,” she said. “I noticed that the clothes being worn by older people and people with disabilities were often baggy, and individuals did not always have the independence and dignity they deserved.
Bra fitting, for those recovering from strokes for example, was a particular difficulty I noticed.”
Adaptawear turned to HDTI when it needed to test the bra on a sample group of potential users and carers.
“The research Coventry University did was the most valuable study we have done to date,” Kavita said. “They trialled the bra on half a dozen people, and got some fantastic feedback.
“As a result we have modified the design and are developing ranges that are more colourful – and, importantly for women, also desirable.”
CoreBra is available in eight sizes “to account for the fact that women who have been ill lose and gain weight very quickly”. It can be bought directly from www.adaptawear.co.uk, via the Red Cross and other nationwide stockists.
“We are delighted with the support we’ve received from the HDTI so far and are planning other projects with them around helping to understand the needs of our customers,” Kavita added.
HDTI commercial development director Guy Smallman said this project was an example of how the institute could make a real difference to an up-and-coming company in the assistive technologies sector.
“Our input has directly led to changes in the design of the bra, which in turn has helped Adaptawear to incorporate modifications in line with the needs of their target market,” Mr Smallman said.
“We are here to support small and medium-sized enterprises in designing products and services that will significantly improve community healthcare.”