The Bshirt wins UnLtd support and funding
The Bshirt has won an award from UnLtd, the UK’s foundation for social entrepreneurs, this summer. The funding and expert support from UnLtd will help the organisation make lasting social change in the community.
Ethical breastfeeding top designed by Totnes businesswomen aims to increase confidence breastfeeding.
The UK has some of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world. There have been so many articles written about the crisis of public health but the UK’s shocking breastfeeding record is still not yet common knowledge. So here are the facts:
- 81% of new mothers in the UK start off breastfeeding and by 6 months this has fallen to just 34%.
- Compare this to Norway, which has some of the highest breastfeeding rates in the world, where 71% of mothers are still breastfeeding at 6 months.
UNICEF state that there is significant reliable evidence to show that breastfeeding is a major contributor to public health. Breastfeeding reduces a baby's risk of infections, allergies, obesity and diabetes. What's more, it also reduces risk of cancer, heart disease and obesity in mothers. Over 3,000 UK women die of cancer and heart disease every month. Quite simply, breastfeeding saves lives.
So why are so few mums breastfeeding? Well, it’s really not easy. It can be incredibly painful, it’s overwhelming at times, and without support and guidance it’s practically impossible. The law now supports breastfeeding in public, but the Infant Feeding Survey carried out by the NHS in 2010 found that 45% of UK mothers felt uncomfortable breastfeeding their baby in front of other people.
The Bshirt was designed by two Devon mums who, like many new mums, felt quite nervous about the idea of breastfeeding in public. They wanted something that allowed them to breastfeed while wearing their pre-pregnacy clothes without showing their tummies or boobs. According to their research, the Bshirt customers have listed ‘embarrassment’ as their second biggest barrier to breastfeeding - second only to latch problems!
There are lots of reasons why women struggle to breastfeed but embarrassment needn’t be one of them - and it’s actually the one barrier that the Bshirt can do something about! The Bshirt is unique because our research has shown that it increases women's confidence while breastfeeding:
- 87% of women surveyed felt more confident breastfeeding in front of other people when wearing their Bshirt.
- 94% of women surveyed agreed that breastfeeding is easier whilst wearing the Bshirt.
- 89% of women surveyed said that the Bshirt was one of their favourite breastfeeding tops.
Mark Norbury, UnLtd CEO, said: “Tackling society’s most complex challenges requires a radical shift in thinking and practice. That’s why social entrepreneurs are so important – they create bold, sustainable innovations based on their lived experience of the issues they are seeking to address. It is wonderful to see this summer’s cohort of award winners creating such social and economic value for their communities, while collaborating so well to get the most out of all their ideas, energy, resources and talent.”
Philippa Doyle, co-founder of the Bshirt and mum of two, says “In our survey, 87% of women felt more confident breastfeeding in front of others while wearing their Bshirts. We are very excited about the impact we can have by empowering women to breastfeed more comfortably, more confidently and ultimately for longer.”
UnLtd is currently working hard with partners from both the public and private sectors to help deliver social impact by harnessing the huge potential of social entrepreneurs to solve society’s biggest challenges. The organisation is focused on three big impact areas; resilient communities, employability and solutions for an ageing society. More information on UnLtd’s latest funding opportunities is available online here.