Rethinking the BraDeveloping a completely new type of textile structure to create the perfect bra
Developing a completely new type of textile structure using cuttingedge 3D knitting technology to create the perfect bra without the traditional underwire structure.
The traditional underwired bra can be uncomfortable and is not designed with the wearer in mind. Women are shifting to use comfortable yoga tops and bralettes, but these do not offer enough support or breathability. Women of a larger cup size particularly, are forced to sacrifice between comfort, support, and style.
The partners are researching the needs of women by analysing the market, competitors and needs, creating a community of women that provide suggestions and opinions in a collaborative way.
The results will combine, for the first time in a bra using cutting-edge 3D knitting technology with sustainable materials, the project intends to innovate the bra’s structure using seamless technology, adapting it to the user to create a an extremely comfortable, breathable and sustainable bra without the traditional underwire structure.
RETHINKING THE BRA (United Kingdom)
Rethinking the Bra is the goal of a team of three women who are on a mission to revolutionise bras. Essi is a service designer, researcher, and strategist, Stefanie is a body wear designer and empowerment coach, Giulia is an interaction designer specialising in women’s healthcare and e-textiles.
HOC LAB TECH SRL (Italy)
HOC LAB TECH is an innovation for footwear and textile development. It has been working since 2017, providing expertise in material development, design and innovation for different industries.
Rethinking The Bra was born out of the frustration of the existing bra market. Rethinking The Bra is developing an innovative 3D knitted wire-free bra structure for larger cup sizes (C+) that is comfortable, supportive and stylish.
THE BIRTH OF THE PROJECT:
Women spend most of their time wearing a bra, which ought to be the most comfortable item they own. All women* need a garment that is comfortable, supportive and breathable, including females with bigger cup sizes. After years of longing for a better solution, Essi (User Researcher) contacted Giulia (Material researcher for female’s health) and Steff (Underwear specialist) to develop the revolutionary bra.
THE CREATIVE PROCESS:
To get a better understanding of what this might look like, Rethinking The Bra conducted interviews and created focus groups with females around Europe to co-design the ideal and comfortable daily bra with no wire. This in-depth analysis was used to create a pattern, holding a solution that so many women* are longing for. During this creative development process, Rethinking The Bra realised the restrictions of traditional bra making. 3D knitting started to interest Rethinking The Bra as it allows the development of garments that will create support and comfort without the need for a metal underwire. With hardly any seams, this is good news for those who find traditional bras uncomfortable. This technology opens the door for a new revolution within the bra industry. As a European team working in a pandemic, the collaboration had to be fully remote. The project is a collaboration of 5 European countries. In the UK the pattern has been developed by Steff. In Spain Jordi translated this into the 3D knitting software and in Italy HOC made the prototype. In January, the prototype has been sent to Finland to fit and shoot, while the music has been recorded in Malta. Finally, the video has been added in Germany. To allow the team to stay on top of the project weekly meetings and a tight work schedule have been introduced. The plan was to work intensively together, but in the end, half of our team never met face to face.
Thanks to the Worth Project, the past eight months gave the team the opportunity to co-develop their first working prototype. Rethinking The Bra entered a collaboration with Jordi & HOC, specialists in 3D knitting technology, to create the bra that women* are longing for. Jordi successfully created the pattern on 3D knitting software for HOC. HOC used their cutting edge 3D knitting technology to co-design prototypes to give women* the support they are longing for.
RTB & HOC have plans to continue co-developing the prototype onto the next level. After working intensively on the pattern, we will next move onto researching materials in more depth. We’ve learnt from our community of women that they would like their ideal bra to be made out of sustainably produced natural materials that are soft and breathable. Our interest is to next explore the use of natural fibres like bamboo, cotton and linen in the context of 3D knitting and lingerie.
Rethinking The Bra understands the frustration of women* who deserve a garment which is comfortable, supportive and breathable, including for females with bigger cup sizes. Rethinking The Bra is developing a bra that fulfils all the criteria of what women* are looking for.