Nearly two million people in the United States have experienced amputations or were born with limb difference, according to the Amputee Coalition. Many of these people choose to replace their removed limb with a prosthetic and, while technological advances have made prosthetics more flexible, durable, and natural in the past few years, there’s still a stigma associated with having a missing limb.
“One of the greatest difficulties for a person undergoing amputation surgery is overcoming the psychological stigma that society associates with the loss of a limb,” Janos Ertl, MD, wrote in an article for Medscape. “Persons who have undergone amputations are often viewed as incomplete individuals.”
But this Canada-based company hopes to change that. Allele Designs aims to encourage people with artificial limbs to proudly show them off instead of trying to cover them up. The company designs prosthetic covers with striking patterns and vibrants colors to reflect and celebrate the wearer’s personality.
“We’re artists, not prosthetists. We’re a team of fashion junkies, totally obsessed with design. And when we started the Alleles studio, we were trying to solve a style problem. Not a limb one. In an industry saturated with robotic aesthetics and clunky contours, our prosthetic covers endeavour to transform something mechanical into something mechani-chic,” the Alleles Design team wrote on their website. “We truly believe that shopping for a prosthetic cover should be fun, fashionable, and affordable. So we totally promise to always bring you hand-made covers, with an inspired style and a beautiful silhouette.”
The prosthetic covers are made of different types of durable, lightweight, and easily modifiable acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plastic. The covers can easily be attached to the prosthesis using two polyurethane straps with metal hooks. They start at $325 each and are all made to order based on their customer’s specifications. In addition to the prosthetic cover designs they make, they offer customers the opportunity to create their own with custom artwork.
Hopefully, Alleles Design’s products will help people to take back their narrative and reduce stigma associated with having an artificial limb.
Words by Ariana Marini, aplus.com. Full article can be found here: https://aplus.com/a/alleles-design-stylish-prosthetics