People’s Champion finalist 2017: Inga Wellbeing
Will the Chichester clothing company giving people dignity in illness clinch your vote for Startups Awards People’s Champion?
Start-up name: Inga Wellbeing
Founders: Claire Robinson, Nikla Lancksweert and Fiona Mc Greal
Started in: 2014
Based in: Chichester
Business description: Clothing for people undergoing medical treatments
The Inga Wellbeing story:
Inga Wellbeing co-founders Claire Robinson and Nikla Lancksweert spent many years nursing their mothers through cancer as they increasingly became defined by “the disease they were fighting, no longer the people they were”.
Their experiences inspired them to start developing a range of clothing that would allow those fighting medical conditions to dress as they did before they were sick, but adapted to the realities of medical treatment, with discreet poppers for easy undressing and access.
Targeted at both inpatients and outpatients as well as loved ones wanting to help, their start-up Inga Wellbeing offers a range of clothing designed to improve the patient experience by giving its wearers more independence and a greater sense of wellbeing, whilst creating efficiencies in everyday tasks.
Its products have scooped a variety of awards since launch including the PRoF University of Ghent award 2016, The Janey Loves Platinum Awards winner Gold 2016, a Henry Van De Velde award 2016 in the Better Health category, and a four star rating from UK disability lifestyle magazine Able Magazine.
The next phase of Inga Wellbeing’s development will see it introduce an ‘institutional collection’ that can be industrially washed to help those who don’t have the means to invest in its clothing.
With 5.5 million hospitalisation every year across the UK and Belgium and an average stay of five nights, the company sees a huge market opportunity for this clothing.
It also intends to develop a range of medical technology solutions that integrate smart technology into the clothing, such as sensors and GPS locators. This would enable wire-free and stigma-free close monitoring of patients. For example: carers of people with dementia or Alzheimer’s could manage their treatment more closely, reducing re-admissions and allowing for longer independent living.
Why Inga Wellbeing made our shortlist:
Designed by a fashion designer and informed by medical experts, Inga Wellbeing is fusing fashion and functionality to help give patients dignity and independence when they need it most; whilst, unlike rivals, its clothes can be used for a wide range of maladies and for longer into the stages of an illness. Its products have been recognised by leading industry organisations for their ability to help patients be seen as more than just their illness, and with a range of exciting and innovative developments in the pipeline, we’ve yet to see the full potential of Inga Wellbeing.