Here's How Two Athletes Are Working To Empower Women In Fitness

"It's about the community and those who are wearing it."

Hanna Bowden and Laurel Kasel are putting the "her" in empower with their new brand of fitness apparel Mpowher that launched earlier this year. 

In a phone interview with A Plus, the co-founders, who met through athletics, said they were inspired to create the brand when they saw two sides to the fitness industry: one which made women feel great about themselves, and another that brought them down.

In response to the latter, Bowden and Kasel decided their brand would not only provide a collection of pants, tops, and other wearable goods, but would help foster a community of women who encourage one another to live happily and healthily in their own bodies.

Women are welcome to share their stories of "mpowherment" on a forum on the website.  The stories shared are meant to "reveal the real you, the challenges you have overcome," and to inspire someone else. Their current featured story highlights Jenna Cooke, a woman who, after getting laid off from her finance job, took the opportunity to pursue an entirely new career she now loves — nursing. 

Courtesy of Mpowher
Courtesy of Mpowher

The current Mpowher collection includes pieces like the Elevate 2.0 Long Sleeve, a top designed for cooler temperatures, as well as the Inspire Pant, with seams designed to counteract chafing. 

Bowden further explained that they appreciate community feedback to help shape their creative process. "We always want feedback from those around us because it is your clothes. And that's something we really like to push. It's about the community and those who are wearing it," she says.  

Courtesy of Mpowher
Courtesy of Mpowher

At the end of the day, "We hope that when people put on either a Mpowher top or pants they think of it as putting on their armor," Bowden says.

"Once they slide into the clothing we hope that it is a symbol to themselves that they truly are confident, empowered women."

Even better is the fact that 20 percent of their sales are donated to Days for Girls International, a non-profit organization that "helps girls who would otherwise go without feminine hygiene have access to quality, sustainable products and awareness."

Check out more photos of the collection below. 

Courtesy of Mpowher
Courtesy of Mpowher
Courtesy of Mpowher
Courtesy of Mpowher
Courtesy of Mpowher
Courtesy of Mpowher
Courtesy of Mpowher
Courtesy of Mpowher