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Athleta is launching a sports bra for breast cancer survivors


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Photo: Abby Maker for Well+Good

Every October, brands go pink, coming out with everything from tank tops to nail polishes, all in the name of breast cancer awareness. Bringing attention to the second most common cancer among American women (skin cancer is the first), should definitely be applauded—and so should the millions of dollars raised every year for supporting charities.

But this year, one activewear company is going even further by designing a sports bra specifically made for breast cancer survivors: Athleta’s Empower bra, part of the brand’s Power of She initiative.

“Women were telling us that they’d been using Athleta bras as a post-mastectomy sports bra, but they couldn’t find a truly perfect option in the marketplace. We started to realize this was an underserved need.”

Out September 25 and retailing for $54, the (fantastic) idea came straight from shoppers. “Women were telling us that they’d been using Athleta bras as a post-mastectomy sports bra, but they couldn’t find a truly perfect option in the marketplace. We started to realize this was an underserved need,” says Shelia Shekar, Athleta’s senior director of brand marketing.

The design team used softer fabrics to make the bra, sensitive to not hurt any scar tissuing. Also, the pockets were designed so that any size prosthetics could be inserted inside. And unlike other sports bras, the Empower has adjustable straps—a huge perk since post-surgery, breasts can vary dramatically in size.

“Breast cancer is important to so many women in our community, whether they’ve experienced it themselves or someone they know has had it,” says Shekar says. “Our mission as a brand is so inspire an active community of women and girls to reach their limitless potential through an active, healthy life.” To that point, Athleta has partnered with a Recovery on Water, a Chicago-based rowing club for breast cancer survivors, which the brand is making a donation to this month.

Another shopper request Athleta is acting on: a pink sports bra to wear to breast cancer awareness walks and events. The Pink Power of She sports bra (which will retail for $54) will also be released August 28—well in advance of those upcoming BCA events. Good to know, as you assemble your crew to support all the moms, daughters, sisters, and friends out there who are fighting for their lives. (Hello, #squadgoals.)

For the record, yes, even healthy women can get breast cancer. Plus, how even moderate drinking can affect your chances of getting it.

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