Ward + Robes brings unique hospital gowns from fashion designers to sick kids
A new program called Ward + Robes is enlisting the help of fashion designers to give the ugly old hospital gown a makeover, so kids have the chance to be themselves even though they aren’t feeling great.
For most of us, having to wear a traditional hospital gown is likely a very brief experience. Sadly, for some kids who are in a hospital for long-term care, the garment becomes the main staple of their wardrobe, which is where Ward + Robes comes in.
Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada, a nonprofit, launched the program in Ontario but hopes to release their newly redesigned, fashionable gowns in more than 130 hospitals across the country. Eventually, the organization would like to reach kids worldwide, Bored Panda reported.
“We all know being a teenager is tough, and being a hospitalized teen is even tougher,” the nonprofit wrote to artists who might be considering designing a piece. “The gown you create will bring joy and a much-needed sense of empowerment to a hospitalized teen.”
“Wearing a hospital gown is like being in a hospital,” one girl shares in a video for Ward+Robes. “There’s nothing good about it.” Another patient, a teen boy, said that having to wear the traditional hospital gown “sorta makes me feel like my identity’s been stripped away from me.” Choosing what clothes to wear each day is a luxury we all take for granted. Get up, get dressed, get going. Most of us don’t put too much thought into the process anymore.
But for sick teens not having that choice makes a big difference in how they feel. “When you can’t wear what you want, you feel like you’re not who you should be, or you’re just your illness or you’re just a hospital patient,” one teen girl explains. Fashion designer Izzy Camilleri, who has created pieces for David Bowie and Meryl Streep, says designing for the kids means so much more than creating pieces for famous actresses and musicians.
And the kids love the project. Ward+Robes organizers bring in racks of beautifully designed, unique gowns and the kids’ faces light up when they’re given the chance to pick a new one out. One girl shares what the moment meant for her saying, “This gown lets me be who I am outside of the hospital.”
Watch the full video with the teens picking out their new gown below. Warning, you’ll want to grab some tissues. You can donate to the nonprofit here.