In the quest to create and support a healthy, active community that welcomes and benefits women and girls, Athleta is constantly improving their clothing line to meet the distinct needs of their customers.

Stressing the significance of movement, the company believes an active body has a healing effect on the mind and soul that’s empowering, which is why it was important for the brand to answer the call for a sports bra that satisfies the specific concerns of active, breast cancer warriors. By investing in the kind of technology that results in performance products truly in tune with the female body, Athleta’s post-mastectomy line and their latest Empower Bra demonstrates their unending commitment to uplifting all women.


The design and merchandise teams at Athleta worked for over a year to develop a more accommodating option for breast cancer fighters that not only fit comfortably, but also exuded confidence and looked just as fabulous. Launched in October 2017, the first Empower Bra was revealed, a specially designed sports bra for women who have had a mastectomy.

With fully adjustable straps and removable cups that help create a custom fit, the bra blends comfort with fashionable functionality. Its overall construction and special features address unique concerns, such as changing breast size due to post-surgery swelling and the protection of healing incisions.


Response to the first Empower Bra was overwhelmingly positive and prompted a lot of constructive, crowd-sourced feedback, which encouraged Athleta to expand the possibilities of their mastectomy-friendly bra line. The new, 2.0 version of the Empower Bra exchanges a racerback style with a two-strap, yoga-inspired design that aims to specifically ease the discomfort generally felt by women recovering from lymph node transfer surgery.

To remedy the heft and agitation often associated with medical prosthetics (especially during physical activity), Athleta also offers a more lightweight alternative with their Empower Pads – specially designed inserts that provide support and accommodate the Lotus Pose, treadmill-induced sweat, kickboxing class, triathlons, and even everyday wear. Available in a range of sizes, the $10 inserts wick away sweat and are washable.


Athleta has also expanded the insert pocket in many of their sports bras, which increases the number of styles and features a woman wearing prosthetics, may consider. Empower Pad-friendly options include Athleta’s Run Free Bra line with asymmetrical straps that draw attention to the back; and the floral and botanical prints of the Hyper Focused Bra.

Not only does Athleta empower others through their post-mastectomy line, but the brand is also part of a unique community of business leaders holding the B Corp designation. Certified B Corporations run their operations for the good of the people and planet. They establish business practices and make decisions that thoughtfully take into consideration the global impact their company will have on the environment, suppliers, workers and their customers.

In addition to embracing water-saving techniques, 40% of fabrics used by Athleta to craft their clothing are made with sustainable fibers. The company also diverts 70% of their store packaging waste from landfills. Additionally, more than 2,500 workers have been empowered through fair trade and Athleta’s P.A.C.E. program, which provides women employed in their factories with the chance to develop their life skills; gain access to advanced education; and improve their financial security.  


Shoppers can also make a difference with their Athleta purchases. In observance of Breast Cancer Awareness month, those who buy an Athleta Empower Bra can earn up to 8% cash back, which can then go towards a 1% to 100% cash back donation to a breast cancer nonprofit of their choice. A few to consider include the youth-focused Keep a Breast movement; Mothers Supporting Daughters with Breast Cancer; and the New York City-based Breast Treatment Task Force. You can earn cash back, support a B Corp business, and donate to a good cause all at the same time – it’s a win-win-win for everyone.