No more ugly robes: These stunning hospital gowns make patients feel like people again.

You've just checked into the hospital. What's the first thing you have to do?

Take off your clothes, put them in a canvas bag, and put on an itchy old hospital gown, of course.

There are practical reasons (well, sometimes) for those hideous, unisex creations. But few people like wearing hospital gowns, and it might be about more than them just being ugly.


In fact, recent studies have shown that being forced to wear an ill-fitting, nondescript gown can contribute to a feeling of stress and vulnerability for patients. These gowns may also cause doctors to see people as just patients rather than people, which ... isn't great.

That's why one group came up with a 100% improvement on those boring gowns.

All photos courtesy of Starlight Children's Foundation Canada.

They're called Ward+Robes and they design hospital gowns for teens — gowns that they'll actually want to wear.

Why teens? Trevor Dicaire, the senior vice president of development at Starlight Children's Foundation Canada (one of the organizations behind the project), says sick teens are often forgotten and underserved in hospitals, with so much charity going to younger kids.

And when it comes to identity, we all know how important it is for teenagers to be able to express themselves as they figure out who they are.

Ward+Robes teams up with volunteer artists, including heavy-hitter Izzy Camilleri (she used to design for A-list celebrities), to produce eye-popping creations.

The robes are then delivered to children's hospitals where teen patients can trade in their blegh-blue garments for something a little ... livelier.

Every teen in the program receives a gown for free, and Ward+Robes operates mostly on donations and volunteer services.

"Anything that we're able to do to bring some positivity, some distraction, some joy to children in hospitals is pretty much what we're all about," Dicaire says.

"I was amazed to watch the teens walk in in their standard issue gowns and get super excited that they could go to this rack of robes and pick something that felt more like them," Dicaire says of the first time he saw the program in action.

"And the change in their faces — their smiles, they lit up."

The project kicked off at The Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, but Ward+Robes has plans to expand soon.

And the coolest part? The teenagers get to keep the custom gowns, just in case they have to go back to the hospital again.

Or better yet, they can keep them as a reminder of recovery.

Dicaire says almost all of the people at hospitals he's spoken to have jumped at the opportunity instantly as a way to improve patient care, and the designers have really brought the project to life.

"All the designers went over and above and made numerous wardrobes for us. And the great thing about that was that it offered us to offer a true array of designs for kids to choose from."

The new robes won't make illnesses go away. But the morale boosts they give are super important.

Krista Raspor, one of the creative minds behind the project, says the robes are game changing for a lot of the kids she's worked with. "I spent time in the hospital as a teen and it sucked," she said. "Like, a lot."

"Wearing a hospital gown makes you feel like a number ... a sick, disenfranchised number. And I never really understood why it had to be that way."

Thanks to the hard work of Krista and her peers, it might not have to be that way for much longer. And that is no small feat.

Learn more about the impact a sweet-looking hospital gown can have and how you can help support the project, in the video below:

Pexels
True
Amazon

Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

Wikiimages by Pixabay, Dr. Jacqueline Antonovich/Twitter

The 1776 Report isn't just bad, it's historically bad, in every way possible.

When journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones published her Pulitzer Prize-winning 1619 Project for The New York Times, some backlash was inevitable. Instead of telling the story of America's creation through the eyes of the colonial architects of our system of government, Hannah-Jones retold it through the eyes of the enslaved Africans who were forced to help build the nation without reaping the benefits of democracy. Though a couple of historical inaccuracies have had to be clarified and corrected, the 1619 Project is groundbreaking, in that it helps give voice to a history that has long been overlooked and underrepresented in our education system.

The 1776 Report, in turn, is a blaring call to return to the whitewashed curriculums that silence that voice.

In September of last year, President Trump blasted the 1619 Project, which he called "toxic propaganda" and "ideological poison" that "will destroy our country." He subsequently created a commission to tell the story of America's founding the way he wanted it told—in the form of a "patriotic education" with all of the dog whistles that that phrase entails.

Mission accomplished, sort of.

Keep Reading Show less
True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.