Millie Lingerie was created by Sue Pringle, who was diagnosed with breast cancer twice in ten years and struggled to find comfortable post-surgery bras that were also attractive. “I found it almost impossible to find a bra that was not only comfortable, but actually liked and I was reduced to tears repeatedly in changing rooms, leaving feeling disheartened and grumpy. So I decided to turn a grump into a business, and do something about it, for myself, the 50,000 women who are newly diagnosed each year, and the half a million women who are living well after treatment.”
“We all deserve more,” she adds, “and I’m determined to see that we all get it – fabulous, comfortable bras to wear, that help to reduce some of the impacts of breast cancer treatment, and restore some self confidence. Breast cancer is something that’s happened to us, it’s a part of us, not a definition, so we’re designing for women, not breast cancer patients.”
In 2015, using funds raised from a successful Kickstarter campaign, Sue began prototyping her first bra design. Millie Lingerie’s first bra is a feminine, soft cup, non-wired lace bra to give women a welcome confidence boost after the rigours of their treatment are over, and the brand is being launched through a second crowdfunding campaign running on Kickstarter from 27 February 2017.
The project goal is to raise £30,000 or more with funds going towards developing the Millie fit, technical size grading and wearer trials, cross fitting sizes on a mix of women with different surgery types, pre-ordering materials and components for production, manufacturing and deliver the first 500+ Millie bras as well as completing pattern and grading on the matching knicker. If the £30,000 target is exceeded the brand will work on expanding the bra size range, adding more colours (over £50,000) and begin working on a ‘bra wardrobe’, Millie’s first collection (over £100,000). Rewards include the option of buying a Millie bra as a gift to someone and contributing towards a bra that will be donated via the Nottingham Hospitals Charity, or Keeping Abreast charity.
Sue works with designer Laura Stanford (previously of M&S, Debenhams and Agent Provocateur), Nottinghamshire-based pattern and sample makers Laura and Karen, and Millie’s advisor and soon-to-be non executive director Tony Jarvis, previously Sales & Marketing Director at Triumph UK and MD at Gossard UK. Millie Lingerie is also collaborating with Nottingham Trent University, Medilink, BioCity, Ingenuity Network based at the University of Nottingham and NBV (Nottingham Business Venture).