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Heidi Williams De Rincon, Head of Lingerie Buying

BEHIND THE SEAMS

The Making of Primark’s Breast Cancer Awareness Collection

We caught up with Heidi Williams De Rincon from the Lingerie team who shares the journey of developing this year’s Breast Cancer Awareness campaign and product collection.

As part of this year’s Breast Cancer Awareness campaign, we caught up with Heidi Williams De Rincon. Heidi is the Head of Buying for Lingerie at Primark, which includes the 2023 Breast Cancer Awareness collection. Here Heidi shares the journey of developing the post-surgery and solidarity ranges and explains why it is so important to create these product collections.

1. Why does Primark support Breast Cancer Awareness Month?

It’s so important to us to support our customers and colleagues affected by breast cancer and bring comfort through our ever evolving and innovative product range. We’re passionate about raising awareness and educating women, empowering them to check themselves regularly and recognise the possible symptoms. This is now our third year of our Breast Cancer Awareness collection.

2. Where did the idea come from to produce a post-surgery and solidarity range?

With the post-surgery range, we wanted to create something for women experiencing breast cancer. We know that specialist products like these aren’t easily accessible or affordable to everyone and we want to change this. We’ve developed high-quality technical products that are comfortable, functional and look good too, with the added bonus of being the best value on the high street.

Our solidarity range is for everyone - whether customers have a friend or family member who has experienced breast cancer, or they simply just want to show their support and raise awareness this October. This is our biggest range to date with some exciting new product additions, like our special edition products from our beauty range and our customer favourite ‘Snuddie’ in fuchsia pink.

Breast Cancer Awareness - Setting Spray
Breast Cancer Awareness - Vitamin Enriched Moisturising Primer

3. Tell us more about the post-surgery range?

The collection has been designed with comfort in mind, from the materials the products are made of, right through to the products included in the collection.

As a team, we put so much thought into each and every detail of the products. We designed the collection to bring comfort to customers experiencing the uncomfortable side effects like tenderness, hot flushes, and swelling. However we knew that for these products to be useful to customers, we needed to get the functionality right too. That’s why customers will see front zip closing options, wireless structures, and prothesis pockets.

Breast Cancer Awareness - Post-Surgery Range
Breast Cancer Awareness - Post-Surgery Range
Breast Cancer Awareness - Post-Surgery Range

4. What was important to consider when coming up with the products?

Listening to our colleagues, customers and external partners was so important to us before designing the collection. We collaborated closely with focus groups, consisting of women with experience of breast cancer and clinical nurse specialists from our charity partner Breast Cancer Now. We took their feedback, insights and experiences on board and then we co-designed the products with people who were affected by breast cancer or who had personally experienced breast cancer, which was key to ensuring that we built a range that best served our customers.

One of the things we discovered was that being active during recovery and participating in a regular fitness routine was very important to women and this led to the introduction of new products in the collection this year, including the post-surgery sports bra and post-surgery swimsuit and bikini.

5. Which product are you most proud of?

Definitely the post-surgery lace bralette. During the focus groups, this was a big thing that came up. Women want to feel feminine and elegant during recovery. We’ve received overwhelmingly positive feedback from customers about this item, and the women in our focus group told us that were so happy that a specialist bra at an affordable price tag could make them feel feminine too.

Breast Cancer Awareness - Black Lace Bra
Breast Cancer Awareness - Black Lace Bra

6. Primark is committed to supporting women, whatever life brings. What did it mean to you to work on such a meaningful campaign like this?

Working on this project, and all of our Breast Cancer Awareness campaigns to date, has been the most rewarding experience of my career so far. Being able to create ranges that support our customers and colleagues during some of the most challenging times in their lives makes me feel incredibly proud. Seeing the reaction from customers makes me feel very emotional and assures me that the years of product development and dedication that we’ve poured into our products is making a real difference for women.

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