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Being Breast Cancer awareness month, with all the halls decked in pink, I thought it timely to revisit the above phrase I googled on November 8th 2006, the day after I was diagnosed with breast cancer, out of the blue, at age 41.

I got the call on a Friday, and was booked into hospital 7am Monday, there was NO TIME!

And so having been given a list of all the things I would need over the next 7 or so months, one of which were non-wired bras in natural fibres to wear after surgery and during radiotherapy, I did what every girl who only had 48 hours to find them would do, I turned to Mr Google.

Would you believe, there were about 45 articles on whether or not wired bras cause breast cancer, and absolutely no practical advice on what to wear?!

The cancer foundations, including the NBCF and BCNA were no more help.

It was a mystery how the poor folk with cancer got to find anything they needed within a tight timeframe.

I was astounded, and so jumped in the car and headed to the old bricks and mortar of Westfield Bondi Junction.

In our favourite department store, looking for a 34DD, I found sports bras (ugly), cross your heart bras my grandmother may have worn in her day (even uglier) until eventually I found what I wanted – beautiful, non-wired, sexy bras going up to a GG cup, and with cotton lining to boot.

I was in luck! Until I noticed the two women standing next to me, both pregnant and laughing as they selected their maternity bras.

I had just been told I would never have children after chemotherapy.

It was one of the most confronting moments of my cancer journey. I felt that as both a woman, and a female consumer, I had ceased to exist. I grabbed a few sports bras and ran crying from the shop. I went on to 7 months of gruelling treatment, during much of which I had no eyebrows, eyelashes or hair, wearing really ugly bras.

Five years on, when trying to buy softer bras in a Sydney summer, same thing again. I find myself in front of beautiful maternity bras, and when I explained my predicament to the shop assistant, she said:

‘There is nothing for people like you’ – aaaagggghhhh!

If one in eight of us will be diagnosed with breast cancer IN HER LIFETIME in this country, why do we not cater to this group of women?

There are over 450,000 women alive in this country that have received a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime, and believe me, they would like to wear a beautiful, non-wired bra in a natural fibre on occasion!

And so I had to do it myself (click here to see the range). It took 2 years to design the wretched things, turns out they are more complex than cars!

Of course as a headhunter in financial markets, I was never the best person to do it, but it felt like no one else was going to bother.

And do you know, the idea of beautiful bras for women going through breast cancer proved so REVOLUTIONARY that LIVESTRONG in Texas selected Bras Without Wires as a final 20 in its global Big C Competition, out of 780 ideas from 31 countries.

It was literally chosen as one of the top 20 ideas in the world right now, for improving the lives of people going through cancer.

photo

And so ladies, we all know someone, spread the word, pass it on, life for BC patients just got less orthopedic! visit us here or at our October guest spot in Fivemore at 396 Oxford Street, Paddington 2021.

Main Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com
  • Wow, that is a gorgeous bra! I am shocked to read bras without an underwire in certain sizes us near impossible to find in Australian stores. Good for you fir filling that void

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  • Well done. They look gorgeous.

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  • What a beautiful bra! I’m sure it’ll lift your mood wearing it and even just seeing how gorgeous it is.

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  • that bra looks gorgeous! i think that is a shame that no one considered your situation before but i don’t think it’s the mainstream market. i see that they have an “after surgery” section in a leading chain_ not sure if i can say the name- but i don’t know if that is appropriate for strong women like you. thanks for standing up for women


    • thank you! we are getting there i assure you, its not mainstream but at 1 in 8, breast cancer will affect so many of us x

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  • its not often an article can make me cry but this one did.


    • no need to cry! all good now! You should read my blog ;-)

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  • pretty bras and undies always make you feel special


    • I agree! it’s the little joys you do have control over, during an experience that robs you of any control :-)

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  • How wonderful! My mum had a hard time finding bras when she had BC several years ago.


    • thank you! I totally understand, i found it so hard i had to make my own! Hope she’s well now :-)

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  • Is the lace cotton or synthetic??


    • on our organic cotton bra, the lace is also cotton. On our silk bra it is nylon, but it’s on the outer body of the bra so doesn’t come into contact with your skin. I’ll try and attach a photo of the cotton one now….



      • Is some of the fabric stretchy? If so what fibres are used for it? No types of elastic are cotton.

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  • Round of applause and my heartfelt congratulations to you <3

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  • I hope you have made a good recovery. Why are some people so ignorant and insensitive? It is enough to bring tears to one’s eyes. I was in shock when I read that. Is the lace on the beautiful bras you designed cotton? Did you even find any cotton ones at all?? Fortunately I haven’t been confronted by the devastating situation.
    Having sensitive skin after a lot of searching I found some that have cotton cups, but not the side panels or straps. It is so frustrating. believe it or not I actually found the ordinary ones I need at Target. No bra grips down lower on your ribs either.


    • I’m really well thanks, most of us will be thanks to early detection and new treatments :-)
      We sell an organic cotton bra on our site and I have a number of clients with allergies who swear by them. The cotton one is all cotton, apart from the interior foam (although this doesn’t affect my customers as it is enclosed) , and the straps. Unfortunately it is impossible to make an elastic without a synthetic fibre, its the only thing that stretches! Have a look at our Annie Everyday Bra on the site x



      • I presume you have to have a credit card of some sort to buy on-line

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  • Love the bra! Often wonder if wires in bras and other lingerie are a factor. Thankyou


    • It’s a huge area of speculation, but there is no hard evidence around it. Nice for everyone to mix it up i think, like wearing contacts some days, glasses others!
      thanks for your kind words x

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  • I find it astonishing that this market, a significant proportion of the female population, isn’t catered to. Good on you for your vision & your story.

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  • pretty bra. spread the word

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  • Thanks for sharing your inspiring story. Love the Bra.

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  • I will be sure to share this with some people I know who have either gone through it or are currently going through Breast Cancer now – thank you for an interesting and informative and honest article – wish you all the best


    • Many thanks, let’s get the word out! It’s small pleasures that make all the difference when we are ill x

    Reply

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