I founded For Them because I needed a binder that was safe and comfortable, which is a difficult thing to find in the world of chest binders currently. Most are a little rigid, or dig in weird places, or roll up, or don't go far enough down. The list of issues is long.
For Them partnered with Rada Shadick who recently designed a bra for Misty Copeland to comfortably dance in. The brief was to make a binder that compressed maximally without sacrificing fluidity of movement or breath.
We originally made two binders: one with an extra layer of medical mesh and one without. The idea was to give two binding options → one of which we were calling the "indoor binder" (less compressing) and the other the "outdoor binder" (more compressing). We understand there are times when people want a different type of bind.
Next, we had customers try on our two binders. They said things like, "The binder with the mesh is giving me a better bind, but I'm struggling to breathe and it hurts after an hour" or "I like the binder without the mesh more, but I don't think it's compressing me as much".
It seemed that the outdoor binder was not going to be a safe option. We decided to measure the difference in compression between the two options, so we could go back to the drawing board.
We did. And guess what? The measurements were the same! Our more breathable binder compressed just as much as the one with the mesh.
With a viable design in hand, our next challenge was material. Our supplier for the buttery soft but supremely compressing recycled nylon only had a handful of yards left in their warehouse in Italy. So we called every possible company around the globe to find more of it. And we lucked out with someone just a stone's throw away from Chloe's family in the UK.
We hate that the fashion industry has created toxicity around sizing and so our sizing is not numerical. Here's how it works → customers let us know their chest measurements and we map them to a size with a bespoke name. Our binders have been fit-tested on multiple body types to cover a chest apex measurements of 28-60".
Now we're fast at work trying to manufacture as many as we can in NYC to meet our waitlist.
- Chloe Freeman