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    This Company Replaced Numbers With Flowers To Help End Size Stigma

    "[Size is] not who you are, it doesn’t say anything about you, it has no implications in regards to your worth."

    Manifesta is an athletic apparel company hoping to make fitness more accessible for women of many shapes and sizes.

    Courtesy Manifesta

    CEO Rachel Blumenfeld founded the company in 2011, because she was unsatisfied with the fit of workout clothes available on the market.

    Courtesy Manifesta

    Blumenfeld, an avid CrossFitter and equestrian, was tired of dealing with fitness clothes that simply didn't fit her.

    Courtesy Manifesta

    "My legs can squat 200 pounds," she told BuzzFeed Life, "but my waist is smaller than my bottom half, so I needed pants that fit that shape and that don't fall down while you're moving, and shirts that don't get displaced when you do things like overhead lifts or pull-ups.

    "I want to focus on what I'm doing and on my form, not on adjusting my clothes or on whether my stomach is showing."

    It's a common problem for women, whether a size 6 or 26.

    "Bottoms that fit your legs don't fit your waist, and shirts ride up or create weird armpit bulges. It's amazing how many women have the same complaints, but how few companies respond to them," said Blumenfeld.

    Courtesy Manifesta

    "We spent over a year developing our fit before going into production. In bigger companies, who focus on 'fast fashion,' they need new items on the rack every month, if not faster. They can't afford to spend that much time on perfecting fit. Bigger companies are looking for cute, but not for quality."

    But Blumenfeld also wanted to challenge the stigma of sizing, which is why she decided to get rid of numerical sizes all together. Instead, the line's "sizes," which range from what are conventionally considered straight to plus, are inspired by flowers.

    "To truly become a body-positive company," Blumenfeld said, "I wanted to try sizing that didn’t have an inherent hierarchy."

    Courtesy Manifesta

    "I didn’t want letters or numbers or even adjectives because I want the sizes to be absolutely neutral; just a manner of identifying which item you want," she told BuzzFeed Life. "It’s not who you are, it doesn’t say anything about you, it has no implications in regards to your worth."

    Blumenfeld said responses to Manifesta's sizing scheme have been positive, especially from women recovering from eating disorders.

    "Ironically, we’ve had feedback that our sizes run small and that they run large," Blumenfeld said. "It just goes to show how inconsistent sizes and fit are from company to company, and how meaningless those numbers really are."