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Changing the Gold Coast one sports bra at a time

Dominica Czaczka | October 16, 2020

It wasn’t until Amy Jaffers found herself browsing for a sports bra in a hardware store on a holiday in Margaret River that she realised how lacking options for inclusive sizing were in traditional brick and mortar stores.

Faced with scant options strewed across a few racks and the only source of support an older man manning the till, it dawned on Jaffers that while she had always struggled finding a sports bra that fit, the task was near impossible for women living in regional areas.

Jaffers’ realisation spurned her to launch Sports Bras Direct; Australia’s largest website for sports bras with a difference.

“It was a real eye opener for me to see what some regional women have to go through. Some people, especially men, can underestimate how important a sports bra is.

“Getting the right support and comfort from that is just as important as finding the right fit and style of sports shoe; it can affect your performance and your confidence,” said Jaffers.

Jaffers understands all too well the importance of having the right garments for physical activity. A UK native, Jaffers and her husband chose to settle on the Gold Coast after the appeal of an active lifestyle lured them in.

“I love being outdoors. I love trail running, mountain biking, hiking and being generally active with my kids. In the summer I like to surf – I’m not a good surfer by any means but I like to get wet,” she laughs.

“I couldn’t find anywhere that would give me the right advice and good service, so we wanted to change that. I wanted to help women regardless of size to actually get the support they need,” explained Jaffers.

“We primarily see ourselves as an education and advice site first. We want to help and educate women on their needs and size.”

Jaffers said Sports Bras Direct helps women from across Australia, with her customer base coming from all walks of life.

“Some women have never shopped online for a sports bra and it can be a daunting process.

“We’ve helped fit ladies for horse-riding. It’s not one of those sports we think about sports bras but that sitting trot is incredibly painful for your breasts,” she warns.

“We’ve helped ladies with mastectomies and we actually have a section on our website that caters to that. We also have maternity sports bras.

“We are a speciality site. You can often get sports bras on other lingerie or activewear sites but they tend to stock their own brand or limited in the range they carry.

“We stock over 25 brands and counting to give women better choice and a higher chance for everyone to find their perfect fit,” she said.

A core desire to help other women doesn’t stop there. Two years ago Jaffers made a conscientious decision to operate Sports Bras Direct as a social enterprise, with all profits from the business donated to women’s charities.

“I wanted to challenge that traditional business model where it’s all about making the owners and shareholders lots of profit first and charities might be thought of as a distant second.

“We can help women find the perfect sports bra and in turn help disadvantaged women through the charity model as well.

“The more we can grow as a business the more our charitable support can also grow,” said Jaffers.

One of the main charities Sports Bras Direct assists through financial aid and stock donation is local charity Support The Girls Australia. Based in Labrador, the charity helps meet the basic needs of females who are homeless, at risk of homelessness, disadvantaged or marginalised through poverty. They provide vulnerable women and girls with bras, personal hygiene items as well as advocacy and support services.

Sports Bras Direct also encourages customers to send in pre-loved bras, sports bras or otherwise, as part of its charitable efforts.

“They can send them in to us and we collect them to donate those bras on their behalf.

“Women change their preferences and they also change size throughout their life. Too often we have bras that don’t fit or aren’t comfortable for us that go to waste.

“We try to encourage for those pre-loved bras to go to a new home.

“We’re all about women supporting women”.