I Created A Product To Revolutionize The Sports Bra Market & Empower Warrior Women

By Mari Thomas

Wonder Woman, Xena, Buffy, Black Widow. These are all badass female warriors that a lot of us grew up watching on TV. Who wouldn’t want to be like these women? Kicking ass, changing the world and challenging the stereotypical image of a woman. These women are all independent, strong and courageous, yet feminine.

My name is Mari Thomas and I am the founder of MAAREE. I am a strong believer in female empowerment and sport playing a big part in society.

From the beginning…

I’ve loved sports since I was very young. My parents threw me into every sports or activity going and I was surrounded by other kids enjoying the same activities as me however, during my teenage years I noticed more and more of my friends were dropping out of sports. I overheard a number of different reasons for this; they felt it was something too masculine to do, or they were scared of getting muscular and some felt too self-conscious about their bodies. I remember some people asking me why I was still doing sport, they said it was so ‘boy-ish’ but I have never viewed sport in this way. Ever.

Sound familiar?

Sweating, lifting and competing, why were these seen as male actions by so many people? I enjoyed them and I was a girl so I always knew this statement was wrong, but I was saddened by the fact that others didn’t. It also annoyed me that others were dropping out because they felt they didn’t have enough support with regards to their clothing and I continue to see this ten years on from my school days. I am someone who also requires high-quality sports bras for sporting activities as I have an average to large chest so I can relate to this frustration – we have managed to put a man on the moon but we still don’t have a good enough sports bra!

I see sport playing a critical role in society. It was how I socialized, developed key life skills and my confidence. I don’t know who I would be today out without it so I am very concerned to see others missing out.

I went onto study at Loughborough University as my passion for sports and sports products continued to grow. Following my studies, I went onto test the performance of sports bras for a number of global sports brands, and I was surprised to discover how little research and testing was currently being implemented within the industry.

I am taking action.

After much contemplation, being made redundant from a job in London and continued disappointment with sports bras, I finally decided to do something about it. I created MAAREE. I wanted to develop a sportswear brand which ensured poor sportswear was a thing of the past, and a brand that celebrates female empowerment.

My experience from the sports bra testing industry has led me to design unique sports bra support compared to the traditional support. I have developed Overband® Technology to provide superior support in the upward motion, a factor often neglected or overlooked by other brands. This technology has been incorporated into both the Solidarity and Empower bras in my first collection and are the only bras in the world to have this technology built into them.

We are all Warriors.

With the wheels in motion, I wanted to make sure my purpose was echoed in the designs of my collection too. I didn’t just want to feed off of the inspiration from the strong female warriors that we all saw on TV, I also wanted to represent those warriors who don’t wear visible capes; those girls pursuing their dreams despite the challenges and obstacles in their way; those moms who are refusing to give up on their career ambitions and those fighting to better themselves and the people around them.

And so, Warriors is the theme of our collection. The seams are inspired by the armor and the clothing worn by a number of different female warriors, and we tweaked and adapted the design to complement sportswear that we hope will represent strong women. Our clothing is designed to reflect and emphasis the strength that we all have as women and I feel that this is represented in our Warrior Leggings.

It’s important for all women to know how strong and powerful they are. Our physical ability should not be limited by our clothing, and having an interest in sport doesn’t mean you are masculine. Strength isn’t defined by the amount of muscle you have, or how much you can lift at the gym on your best day. Real strength is your capacity to withstand great force or pressure and bounce back, physically and mentally.

We are strong. We are worthy. We are feminine.

#JoinTheAntiMovementMovement
Shop the collection at www.maaree.com.
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