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The development of the Erectly Shirt + 5 exciting facts

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The problem with the upright posture

Do you know the problem? You sit on the horse and notice again and again how your shoulders fall forward. Unfortunately, even during the riding lesson, when your riding instructor tells you to sit up more, it doesn’t last very long. After a few laps you start to collapse again, because after all there are other things you have to concentrate on.

I am a riding instructor myself and have been riding for as long as I can remember and have exactly the same problem myself and see this in my riding students too. For this reason I wanted to change something about it and set about developing a t-shirt.

Which characteritics are actually important for the Erectly shirt?

It was important to me from the beginning that you are not restricted in your movements while riding or cleaning etc. Because the worst thing would be if you find yourself in a corset that takes away the important possibilities of movement that are so important in horseback riding. Because a tense upper body is transferred to the rest of the body and so any swinging becomes a problem.

But it shouldn’t cut into the shoulders or arms either, because it had to give the rider the opportunity to move his hand forward a bit without cutting into his shoulder.

For me, the only option was a t-shirt with strengthening . However, the strengthening with additional fabric was too inflexible for me and I didn’t like the effect. By chance I came up with the idea of using rubber bands. These yelding at the right moment and remind you to take an upright position without it being uncomfortable.

So the basic framework was in place; at least in theory. Putting this into practice turned out to be a bit more difficult than expected.

The woman is herself – but every beginning is difficult

When I first started, I started sewing a t-shirt. Sounds easy at first, but if you can’t sew, this is the first requirement. In fact, it had worked quite well, ignoring the undersized sleeves and holes. But it was enough to put on the first rubber bands and see how they would work.

Putting the elastics in the right places so that the right effect was really achieved, was not that easy. If they were at the wrong angle or too far up or down, the effect wasn’t quite as present as I wanted it to be.

After several attempts, however, I managed to do it and the effect was what I had imagined. So I tried the whole thing while riding and also wore it in everyday life. After it passed my first test, I looked for a seamstress who could make me two t-shirts that looked a bit more professional which I could give my friends to test.

From the prototype to the finished product

These prototypes also had the elastic on the outside, but from the start I wanted this to be a t-shirt that looked like any other sports t-shirt at first glance. In any case, it was now going through a test phase with many of my friends. Little things were changed again and again until you could finally say that it was good.

At that point I thought the difficult part was done, but now the real work had begun because I needed a manufacturer. So I went looking for someone who could make the t-shirts for me and after a while I found what I was looking for.

Then it was off to Berlin to present my Erectly Shirts to my maybe maker. What I have to say is that during my search I noticed that someone who sewed my t-shirt wasn’t enough, because you needed a pattern that I didn’t have, then the sizes had to be adjusted, etc. That are things that you don’t even think of at first, even if you’ve never done anything like this before.

However, I was lucky enough to get everything in one at the company in Berlin and everything fits. So off we went. I was sent various fabrics to choose from, then I designed the logo label and the first fittings. That was actually a bit trickier, because the extra layer of fabric on the back to cover the elastic changed the sizes and cut again. Of course I hadn’t thought of that.

5 exciting facts about the Erectly shirt

  1. But the additional fabric had another advantage, because it supported the waist more, which of course was a great side effect.

Several months had passed since the idea began and it was a great feeling to hold my t-shirt in my hands. Everything fit perfectly.

  1. The fabric I chose from Italy and the production in Germany had the quality I wanted to stand for.
  2. The T-shirt nestles perfectly against the body and cools you down in summer and warms you up in winter.
  3. The rubber bands now yeld as soon as you are in an upright position, but immediately remind you if you fall forward to stand up again and correct your posture.

Even though it wasn’t easy and took time, I’m very happy to have implemented my idea, especially when I see all the positive feedback now.

  1. In the meantime, the Erectly Shirt has been tested by Mrs. Helen Langehanenberg, Cavallo and Reiter Revue and I am very happy about the positive reviews.

The positive feedback from you shows me that it was the right thing to do and I’m happy if I can help you, because that’s what I founded Howana after all; to support you in your everyday riding.