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York brand to hold fundraiser to create headwear for people with hair loss

Dec 12, 2023

A York clothing brand - inspired by a young woman's brave battle with cancer - is holding a fundraiser to create headwear for those who have lost their hair.

Business partners Joanne Nicholson and Claire Myles Wharton founded And Able last year, selling clothing for people with illnesses who are undergoing treatments.

The brand features headwear for those who have lost their hair, jumpers with pouches to enable discreet access to stoma bags and feeding pegs, hoodies with attached tourniquets, post-operation bras, and more.

And Able founders Claire and Joanne (Image: Supplied)

On Sunday, August 20, And Able is holding a fundraiser in the New Earswick Sports and Social Club, in White Rose Avenue, from 12pm to 5pm, to help pay for fabrics used to create the headwear, which Joanne and Claire make by hand.

They will then distribute the headwear to local hospitals and charities, such as St Leonard's Hospice, York District Hospital, and the Teenage Cancer Trust, for anyone who has lost their hair through an illness, medical treatments, or conditions such as alopecia.

And Able headwear designs (Image: Supplied)

Joanne said: "We make headwear out of breathable jersey material so hair can still grow, in all sorts of colours and patterns.

"We make headscarves and head wraps, some with towelling on the inside so hair can dry on the go.

"We even have mum and kids’ options so mums can match with their children who are undergoing treatment, so they feel less alone."

The event will host 40 stalls, including two rails of never-been-worn clothing, birds of prey, real spiders and snakes, a tombola which includes the prizes of Barbie and Batman trikes for children, a disco and a bar.

Emily, pictured with Dad Martin, Mum Joanne, and brother Matthew (Image: Frank Dwyer)

And Able was launched at York Fashion Week in 2022 under the name 'Warpaint: Fashion for the Fight', in memory of Joanne’s daughter Emily, who died from brain cancer in 2019, aged just 24.

You can read Emily’s story on the And Able website here.

Joanne has previously told The Press that after losing Emily she decided to focus her life on doing something to help other people needing procedures and treatments, such as chemotherapy, stoma bags and tracheotomies.

The brand has since achieved success, appearing on BBC’s The One Show in January, and has applied for charity status.

Joanne said: "When you are going through something like this you never forget acts of kindness.

“We give children’s adapted clothing for free, as often parents of ill children have to give up work to care for them.

“We make our items so well that they last and stay in good quality. People who don’t need them for long donate back items they have purchased to give to others.”

And AbleYou can read Emily’s story on the And Able website here.