BBC Radio 5 Live
Our Founder & Creative Director Natalie Balmain went on BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast to talk to Nicky Campbell and Rachel Burden about Type 1 Clothing and how she hopes the line will make a difference to the lives of girls with Type 1 Diabetes. They discussed the daily routine of blood testing, injections and pump wearing, and also the fact the British Prime Minister Theresa May has Type 1 and what it might be like to see her wearing the line! You can listen to the full interview above.
BBC Radio Manchester
Natalie also went on her local BBC Radio Manchester to talk to Alison Butterworth and Shourjo Sarkar at Breakfast about the reasons why she came to develop Type 1 Clothing and how the practical fashion line works. They were keen to hear how she produces the line and also about the response that she has had from the Type 1 community around the world. Natalie showed off the 'Jen' jeans from the collection whilst in the studio (see above) and you can hear the full interview above.
Another celebrity admirer of Natalie's clothing line is none other than the daughter of Bill and Hillary Clinton. With her 1.72 million followers, Chelsea was keen to spread the word about the inspiring story behind T1 Clothing.
Chelsea Clinton is a huge voice in the world of diabetes, and has been involved in numerous research initiatives to try and not only tackle the stigmatism attached to the condition, but how to take potential preventative measures. In one of her reports she touts the links between diabetes and global warming.
In a mini documentary by BBC Lifestyle & Health, Founder & Creative Director Natalie Balmain exclusively showcases the collection to the national media.
The aim was to build awareness around the key issues surrounding type one diabetes and the problems girls and women around the world face on a daily basis.
The video quickly became viral; it has over 3 million views to date, and has been shared by the main BBC News account, as well as BBC Three, BBC Science News and other prolific profiles and diabetes groups around the world.
The response has been hugely positive, and some of the incredible messages from people around the world demonstrate the support for the cause.
BBC Asian Network
Founder & Creative Director Natalie Balmain was invited to talk to BBC Asian Network's Nomia Iqbal on her popular afternoon show 'The Big Debate' about Type 1 Clothing. Joined by Technical Director Parveen Cosr, they discussed the issues that ladies with type 1 diabetes face, as well as how the innovative clothing line tackles these problems and helps to create awareness around the condition.
BBC Radio Scotland
Natalie pre-recorded an interview for BBC Radio Scotland's Newsdrive show on 28th June. It was an opportunity to discuss some of the issues that surround managing type 1 diabetes, as well as the many misconceptions about the condition. Natalie hopes that Type 1 Clothing will create a healthy dialogue around diabetes, helping people to feel more open and comfortable about living with the condition.
I Love MCR
12 Questions for Manchester Bees: Natalie Balmain, Director, Type 1 Clothing Ltd
Meet an inspirational woman making a mark on the world of fashion - and the lives of people with Type 1 diabetes.
There are many movers and shakers in Manchester, people in the public eye contributing to our great city. There are even more people behind the scenes doing some extremely worthy work, including this woman who is in the process of setting up her own specialist clothing range.
Natalie Balmain grew up in the West Midlands but was drawn to Manchester ten years ago for a boy. The boy didn’t last, but Manchester did.
Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was just 20, she had to inject herself with insulin after eating and drinking, so going to bars and restaurants always presented a problem.
Seeing a gap in the market, Natalie has designed her own specialist range of clothes with conveniently placed zips and panels for anyone who has to wear a medical device or administer injections.
Behold, Type 1 Clothing. Her first twelve piece collection of tops, skirts, trousers and jumpsuits, which has attracted the attention of the BBC and Grazia, will be launched next month, with 5% of profits to be donated to Diabetes Research.
What got you started in your field of work?
Fashion has always been important to me. Growing up I would always customise my clothes, getting into trouble cutting them up. I had a bit of a side career in fashion – modelling and styling – then when I was diagnosed, it really got me thinking how I could make something good out of a bad situation.
Who have been the biggest influences on your work?
I take inspiration from everything, I have a pretty eclectic style which I think shows in the collection. My style is definitely influenced by Chanel meets Grace Jones. I love them both.
What is your proudest achievement so far?
Photographing the debut collection. It was the first time I had seen any of my clothes on anyone other than myself. I cried.
What does your typical day involve?
Because we are such a small operation – there’s only two of us at the minute – my day varies. Anything from designing, to sourcing fabrics, to doing the accounts and getting the website ready for the launch. All this on top of working four days a week at Salford Royal.
How do you relax on your days off?
I don’t get many, but when I do I’m like an information sponge and like to keep learning. For example, a couple of weeks back I went to the Merseyside Maritime Museum.
What is the best advice you have been given or can give?
My uncle used to say to me when I was little ‘as long as you’re not hurting anyone, do whatever you want.’ You don’t have to conform, or follow a set path. Find something you love and do it.
If things hadn’t worked out, what else could you have seen yourself doing?
I’d make a good President of the United States. They’ll let anyone do it now, and I’m sure I’d make a better job of it.
Tell us one thing about yourself people might be surprised to hear.
I play the saxophone. Just for me though. All my family are musicians and in the music industry, but the rebel in me didn’t want to follow their path.
Red or Blue?
My family are all Red, but after this week maybe purple?
Name your three favourite places in Manchester.
The Northern Quarter, when you walk around you can really see the history of fashion here, the manufacturing and wholesale buildings. I love a good floral cocktail at Dusk Til Pawn. Plus I’m an outdoors person and like walking, so Worsley Woods, they are just beautiful.
If you could change one thing about Manchester, what would it be?
And finally, what do you love most about Manchester?
The people and sense of community. We are unique and would do anything for anyone. This week says it all.