I've always had faith in what I was trying to create with this line, and I knew there would be other Type 1's out there who would find the pieces useful. But never for a moment did I think that I would get the response that i've had! In the first month since the launch, Type 1 Clothing has been featured on BBC News online (with over 3.1 million views), BBC Three, multiple BBC radio stations (including BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Radio Manchester, my local BBC Radio), Racked.com, Healthline, Aplus.com, The Wellbeing Show on Radio Cardiff and Ireland's Today Radio to name just a few! Even Chelsea Clinton has tweeted about the line!
That's before I even mention the outpouring of messages and orders from other T1's and families of T1's around the world, which has really been the ultimate compliment to me. To have had such amazing support from my community and also the wider world means so much to me personally, and I'm really hoping that this interest will also help to spark some discussions about Type 1 diabetes for those who may not understand it, as well as going some way to normalising public injections.
We have some way to go, but luckily this is just the beginning.
It was a long journey to get here. I don't mean miles to the studio, I mean getting to this point. After 18 months of blood, sweat and tears, never having any money because I was investing everything I had into what was just a personal project.. finally it was photoshoot day for the collection!
Our shooting space was at The Cre8tivity Hub in Ashton, which is a fabulous, homely building with lots of creative rooms, dressing areas and studio space. That would have been more than enough, but we were lucky that the sun made a rare appearance in Manchester that day, which allowed us to go outdoors for the lifestyle shots that you see on the website.
Seeing my clothes on the models was the first time i'd seen them on anyone other than myself and was totally surreal for me. I could see my drawings coming to life and they were exactly how I dreamed they would be. At one point when Naomi came out in the cream maxi dress, I cried! Everyone looked so good.
It was so humbling to hear the girls' responses to the designs too (one said 'no disrespect, but when we first heard the concept we were expecting the clothes to look more practical than fashionable, but we love them!') and it was nice that they enjoyed wearing them. It meant there was a great vibe and everyone just had a fun day which I think really shows in the pictures.
All in all I had 3 models (4 if you include myself), 3 photographers, 1 make up artist, and my incredibly talented technical artist Parveen, who has done all my patterns and stitching. There was so much hard work and talent going down on my first shoot, and it went better than I could have hoped. Thanks to Kim, Naomi, Elle, Lee, Amy, Jeanie, Dani and Parveen for bringing my vision to life!
I hope you all love seeing the collection - a lot of love went into it x
When I was first diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, I was a slightly awkward, skinny 20 year old. No one in my family has any kind of diabetes, and I didn't know anyone who had it either. Despite the love of my family and close friends, I remember feeling incredibly alone.
It wasn't until 4 years after my diagnosis when my hospital recommended I go on a carb counting course at the hospital, that I finally met a group of other Type 1 Diabetics. And I was excited! It was so relieving to see that just like in life, Type 1 Diabetics come in all shapes, sizes, colours and ages! Everyone I met was so nice, and it was comforting to talk to people who are experiencing the same things as you, so you know you're not alone in the up and down sugars, the night time hypos, the constant finger pricking and injecting or site changing. We all get lumps, and bruises, and its all ok. Now whenever I see another T1D injecting in public, or testing their bloods I feel that same sense of 'brothership', and I love talking to the T1Ds that I meet out and about!
For me, it's really comforting to be able to talk about it. And I think everyone should be able to talk about it, to spread awareness and also break a lot of the misconceptions there are about the disease, and the people who have it. If everyone knew the things we knew, maybe they would react better in an emergency, or even just think more carefully about the things they say. I think talking about anything is the key to normalising it, and making it more comfortable for those who go through it. That was really the idea behind the t-shirt line; so we can proudly wear our support for our 'Dia-Tribe' and get people talking!
Love, Natalie x
Unlike a lot of other fashion retailers, we have a very clear mission here at Type 1 Clothing; to promote awareness and education around Type 1 Diabetes. A big part of this is our range of slogan tees, where you can proudly show your affiliation to the cause! Whether you are, love or know a diabetic- get your tee on and let's get people talking!! It could save someone's life.
And to top it off, we pledge 5% of our profits to international diabetes research- so as well as spreading awareness, every purchase goes towards funding research into healthy diabetes management, new treatments and of course a cure!
Like most new ideas, it all began with a problem. I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes aged 20; three months before my 21st birthday, which I had already started organising. I have always been a die-hard fashion lover (at the age of 12 one of my friends' Dad used to call me "Glam Nat" lol) and for my 21st, like most occasions, I had a definite idea of what I wanted my dress, cake, even restaurant to look like! Luckily for me, I was still able to realise my design dreams for that birthday and it is to this day, despite everything that had just happened, one of the best birthdays I ever had.
However over the years that followed I began to have more and more frustration with my need to inject. I chose to be on a basal bolus regime, because it allowed me more freedom with my diet, but it meant that I was taking an average of 7 injections a day- and injecting whilst out and about was unavoidable. There were so many occasions where I felt I couldn't wear a nice high waisted pencil skirt or a jumpsuit without having to go to the bathroom and get half undressed to take my shot, and I descended into a pit of wearing nothing but leggings and jumpers for months because convenience took priority over being smart or fashionable.
While eating out with friends one night, after having yet another tantrum about my lack of practical, stylish clothes, I came up with the idea of making clothes that had zips that opened to the skin to allow for easy injections. It seemed like a simple enough idea, and after some research I was shocked to find out that no one was producing anything like this. The idea quickly grew from there and I decided to create a line of clothing with zips to skin for those that inject, and hidden pockets for those who wear pumps. And like that, Type 1 Clothing was born!
Thanks for taking the time to check out our store; here you will find a range of clothes and accessories aimed at the millions of fun, fashionable Type 1 Diabetics out there! From adjusted clothing with pockets for insulin pumps and zips that open to skin for easy injections; to slogan t-shirts and medical ID bracelets; TYPE 1 CLOTHING has something for everyone! And if that isn't enough- we donate 5% of our profits direct to diabetes research trials around the world. So why not treat yourself to some guilt-free fashion, and contribute to diabetes research at the same time!
lots of love,
For my #type1family,
Natalie here- Founder and Designer of Type 1 Clothing.
For me, this message of awareness goes hand-in-hand with the clothes that I design. I hope that by giving people the freedom to take their injections more publicly, we are helping to create a healthy - and much needed - dialogue around our condition.
Here on the blog (and also on our YouTube channel vlogs, go check them out if you haven't already) we will be talking about everything from Type 1 Clothing's journey, to fashion, dating, CGMs and some of my experiences with Type 1.. so i'd love to hear your stories and experiences in the comments!
Finally- we do pledge 5% of our profits to international diabetes research so every time you shop with us you are helping fund vital research towards new treatments.
Thanks for reading!