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Athleta Creates Diabetes-Friendly Hoodie Based on Sixth-Grader’s Suggestion

Clothing company Athleta is in the news for creating a diabetes-friendly sweatshirt for girls. With one in every 300 kids afflicted with type 1 diabetes, there’s sure to be demand for such new apparel. 

Golden, Colorado resident Sabrina Streich wanted a sweatshirt with more pockets that could hold her diabetes management supplies and keep them secure from falling out. So she wrote a letter to Athleta, a division of Gap that sells active wear and athleisure clothes.

Sabrina was diagnosed with type 1 when she was 8, and she’s now 11 and in sixth grade. She wears a Dexcom G6 continuous glucose monitor, and plans to wear an insulin pump soon as well.

Specifically, she presented her ideas on:

  • A zipper for the front kangaroo pocket
  • An extra pocket (with a sketch showing where it should go) 

To her surprise, not only did the company write back, but they used her ideas. They invited her to join in on a conference call to develop the sweatshirt, and they even flew her to their headquarters to model for their online catalog!

It’s encouraging to see mainstream companies developing diabetes-friendly clothing. Another company that has made clothes for diabetes and featured real life T1D models is American Eagle. Athleta has also previously featured T1D mountain climber Maggie Crawford on their blog.

Own your power

Athleta named the new sweatshirt “Own Your Power.” The hoodie sweatshirt is already out of stock online, but may still be available in some stores.

Healthline’s Diabetes Mine blog stated: “It’s ironic in a way that mainstream, non-medical brands like Athleta are leading the charge embracing life needs of people with compromised health.” They hope that more medical companies will follow suit.