Nobody actually enjoys wearing a hospital gown, let alone being a patient with a long-term illness. For some, hospital gowns are a permanent closet staple. That’s why one organization is teaming up with fashion designers to turn those ugly gowns into totally awesome fashion statements to empower sick children.
Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada, a nonprofit organization, commissioned top designers to start the Ward+Robes project, an initiative with a mission to create stylish gowns to help kids feel confident and more like themselves as they undergo treatments.
“Wearing a hospital gown is like being in a hospital,” one girl explained in a video from the organization. “There’s nothing good about it.”
“It sort of makes me feel like my identity’s been stripped away from me,” another patient said.
The Ward+Robes sent 100 uniquely-designed gowns to the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario to see if the gowns would actually make a difference in the young patients’ lives. And what Trevor Dicaire, the senior vice president of development at Starlight, witnessed was incredible. He said it was like their “personalities transformed” after putting on the new gowns.
“This gown lets me be who I am outside of the hospital and outside of being ill,” said one girl in her new gown.
“I feel like myself,” another patient said. “It doesn’t feel like I’m in a hospital anymore.”
The gowns come in a variety of designs that the kids quite obviously seem to love.
“When I first saw the new gowns, I saw empowerment in teenagers in a place where they don’t have any,” another said.
Ward+Robes is already talking with 130 other hospitals across the country to add the new gowns to each one. And they hope to eventually roll out their gowns in countries across the globe.
“Seeing the smiles, hearing the giggles, watching the excitement… I knew we had to bring this program to as many hospitalized teens in Canada as possible,” said Dicaire.
You’ve got to see these teens’ reactions yourself!