Aside from wearable technology, it’s hard to find a clothing and accessories brand that actually inspires innovation in, say, the STEM industries. That is, until now!
Epidemia is a new clothing and accessories brand which was launched from a successful Kickstarter campaign not too long ago. They exceeded their initial goal of $15,000 and it seems what this new line is offering is already resonating with backers and future buyers.
Epidemia is the brain child of 24 year old Lizzie Cochran who is a medical student at Columbia University who wanted to combine her love of art, fashion and science. So she created a line of clothing to get girls interested in science.
“I think that there is still a belief among young girls that the sciences are men’s fields and, with Epidemia Designs, I hope to play a part in changing that perception,”Lizzie told the Huffington Post.
“We hope that our designs will serve as conversation starters and, through interesting, appealing patterns, further the idea that science is for girls, too.”
How does she do that specifically? Each item of clothing, and other accessories such as notebooks and phone covers display catchy images and patterns that are actual scans from within the human body, such as tissue, cells, and muscles. For example, this sports bra has an image of a healthy mammogram on it. So cool!
“I kept noticing how beautiful the images were and how cool it would be to turn those images into patterns that could be printed on clothing and accessories,” Lizzie continued.
This notebook has actual images of muscle tissue on its cover.
“Through the digital manipulation of micrographs, CT scans, even x-rays, we create designs that both look cool and tell the story of the amazing strength and beauty of the human body,” says the Kickstarter page.
Lizzie wants to encourage girls to know how powerful science can be and how it can change the world. And with that aspect of the brand, they are using a percentage of all sales to donate to a worthy cause.
“We believe that science has the potential to change the world and we want to be part of that change. More than 1.5 million children die every year from diseases that are preventable by vaccines that already exist. In many cases, those vaccines cost less than $1 per child. We hope to contribute to the fight for a healthier future by using 15% of our profits to fund research and projects aimed at reducing the incidence of preventable disease and expanding access to high quality medical care all over the world,” said the Kickstarter campaign description.
These leggings with actual images of heart cells are already getting our hearts beating for this innovative mix of fashion and science.
The idea of putting images of body tissue on clothing came during a biology lab class. Her and her fellow classmates were tasked with memorizing what different cell types looked like from slides. She noticed how beautiful some of the images were and realized that if she was shown these images outside of a lab class, there is no way she would know it was part of the human body.
But it wasn’t just body tissue and cells, but also certain types of virus images.
“I was reading a magazine article that featured all these images of viruses from the past 100 or 150 years. This was around the same time that the whole Ebola situation was starting to wind down, so discussions of epidemics were everywhere,” she told the Today show.
“The one that jumped out at me was the flu of 1918 virus. It was one of the most devastating epidemics in the history of the world, but there on the page, colored with dyes, it just looked incredible, interesting and vibrant.”
Part of the fascination with the imagery of viruses, and her passion for science led Lizzie to incorporate the social change part of the clothing line, something which she knew couldn’t be ignored given her studies. The fact that so many children are suffering around the world from preventable diseases and the younger generation doesn’t get to hear this type of crucial information over all the other noise that exists today in the digital information age is something Epidemia designs is hoping to penetrate.
“Frankly, it’s unacceptable. It’s not like we’re trying to solve an unsolvable problem. We really have the power to lead the way toward a healthier future. We already have the tools.”
The theme of the line is “She’s Got It” as in “she’s got heart”, “she’s got brains”, “she’s got nerve” all literal descriptions as based on the images each item displays.
It’s a really clever way to combine a few different areas of interest and we are in awe of what Lizzie has created. Here is yet another reminder to all the young women out there reading this that you don’t have to look far beyond you to change the world, look at where you are at right now, tap into the resources you have access to, and find your passion within.
“As a girl growing up, I was always a creative kid. My initial strengths were singing and dancing. I always felt as though being good at those things meant that I must not be good at math or science, and once I realized just how male-dominated the world of science was, I was even more hesitant to pursue those things,” said Lizzie.
“Our hope is that our stylish, feminine, fun, and most importantly, interesting designs will appeal to girls of all ages — and maybe encourage them to get involved in the scientific community.”
Take a look at the campaign video to find out more about Epidemia designs: