The #YesJCrewCane Petition

Posted on March 31, 2014

For the last nine months, I have been writing frequent letters to my favorite company, J. Crew, asking them if they would consider selling my beautiful cane. Early on, I realized I needed to show power in numbers, so I created a petition. It is my hope that you will sign it.

beauty of a purple cane

It is easy to look at what I am doing and feel amused. But it’s not a joke to me. This is the basis of my argument:

Falls are the leading cause of death among our elderly. It is widely known that once you outfit an elderly person with the appropriate assistive device, you virtually eliminate falls. The reason assistive devices are not adopted by elderly people is due to stigma.

I believe that stigma kills. I aim to ease this stigma

I am 32 years old and I use a cane to navigate the world around me. My cane is beautiful, the craftsmanship on par with the quality J. Crew seeks for their ‘In Good Company’ Collection. My cane is my sidekick. But my relationship with my cane has never been researched. My relationship with my cane is not seen as a marketable entity. My relationship does not exist in medical literature. I am forced to rely on research done on elderly people. The same elderly people who do not adapt to life with an assistive device due to stigma.

I want more. For me. For my mom. For my grandma. I don’t believe that my idea is the greatest idea in the world. I just think I have one of the only ideas out there. I want to ease the stigma of assistive devices. I aim to do this by urging mainstream retailers to collaborate with current assistive device makers. I believe competition in the marketplace will spur innovation. Did you know that in 2007, two-thirds of assistive device makers in the United States admitted that they did not invest a single penny in the research and development of new or improved assistive devices?

If you think I’m crazy, please let me know why. If you think I’m on to something, will you sign?

What Others Are Saying

  1. Ann Midkiff April 8, 2014 at 11:03 pm

    This is a very good idea. People with disabilities are fashion conscious just as anyone else.

    • Ann Midkiff April 8, 2014 at 11:06 pm

      Creating canes in different fashion colors is an idea whose time has come, just as glasses have become a fashion accessory in recent years, I respectfully ask that you seriously consider the request for your company to consider this idea!

  2. Scott Charles June 26, 2014 at 12:59 am

    Consider me signed.

  3. Andrea Vanderkruyk July 11, 2014 at 1:13 am

    This is amazing. I have arthritis, and have since I was 2 (24 now). When I have times where I need to use a cane, there is nothing worse than bringing out mine, which unfortunately matches my grandfathers. It is a perfect opportunity for a fun accessory, and not something that you tuck away as quickly as possible. Awesome idea.

    • The Girl with the Purple Cane July 11, 2014 at 1:24 am

      Thanks Andrea. I like that you brought up those who use their canes either temporarily (healing from a broken foot) or how you use your cane which is as needed. I can imagine it would almost be easier to always have a cane rather then pull it out on occasion, because yours alerts others that you aren’t doing well, aren’t feeling well, aren’t strong etc… perhaps a fashionable or cool cane could potentially be something that takes the glare off of your wellbeing. Anyway, thank you for your support!

  4. Ava Rapp July 11, 2014 at 4:04 am

    Amazing idea. I had a cane for about a year for a hip injury and surgery to repair it. I hated how the only canes I could find where silver. A colored cane would have been amazing!

  5. IRENE PERFETTO July 12, 2014 at 6:02 am

    the site is Change.org Australia that might help you as well put a petition go disability and care

  6. Ginny Miller July 24, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    this is amazing! Thanks so much for pointing these out! Assistive devices SHOULD come to the forefront of products! If they do, they will no longer be so expensive and hard to obtain for people. They will also be less stigmatized! Liz, I just heard about you! You are a person of passion! Keep it up!

  7. Tracy Davis July 30, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    I absolutely love this! There are a few aluminum canes with patterns on them and some of my dear older friends love them instead of the plain ones. But I know as addicted as I am to purses, etc., the ability to have canes with a fashion flair if I ever need one sounds great. And for children, instead of stares and stigmatization, imagination how interested all would be with walkers and wheelchairs decorated with sparkles and rainbows and stars and moons and dinosaurs and basketballs….

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  9. Lance November 8, 2014 at 2:43 am

    I’ll definitely be up for a rad designed cane if and when I need one.

  10. helen morris November 18, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    This is a fabulous idea whose time is long overdue. Continue your work to raise people’s
    awareness and to bring a piece of life’s reality into focus.

    Helen M

  11. helen morris November 18, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    I applaud your work in making people aware of canes and how they are part of many peoples lives. You are bring this into mainstream fashion ideas that lends itself to being included rather than excluded.

    Thank you.
    Helen M

  12. Nicole November 18, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    I LOVE this so much. I’m in my early twenties and I just recently bought a cane (went with a Sabi sport cane), and it was so disheartening at first to see all the ugly things out there. Even a lot of the patterned ones (I was originally looking for a foldable one, but they don’t make them short enough for me!) were very clearly designed for the older generation, and I felt like I would be too embarrassed to use such a thing. I was so glad when I stumbled across Sabi. Making canes more mainstream, more fashionable, more fun, takes off a lot of that stigma. And the sabi canes are so cool! Why couldn’t a mainstream, fashionable store sell them? I seriously could picture people walking into J Crew, seeing a rack of these canes, and going whoa so cool must have!

  13. Dani November 24, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Wow… Sign me up

  14. Laura December 4, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    Fantastic idea. Inclusionary & inspiring.

  15. A. Laura Brody December 30, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    Consider me signed up. I’d love to talk with you about an upcoming art exhibit (called Opulent Mobility), if you get the chance! Thanks and rock on with your bad self-
    Laura

    • The Girl with the Purple Cane December 30, 2014 at 8:17 pm

      Hi Laura, Thanks so much for getting in touch. Just checked out your site. Would love to chat and will absolutely reach out in the New Year. Happy Holidays!

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  17. HypoGal February 4, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    Congratulations n a much needed update to so many cane users. I think your idea rocks! Way to Go!!

  18. Brenda Floyd February 6, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    Awesome idea, a thought is to add braces and prosthetics too. I used a cane at age 17 to 25 and was a single mom of two. Talk about nothing to go eith outfit. Still use a brace. The stigma has to stop! Thank you for this idea

    • The Girl with the Purple Cane February 6, 2015 at 4:40 pm

      Hi Brenda,

      Thank you for your kind words. Trust me when I say that a cane is just the first (and most simple to design item) of a much larger dream. I also use AFOs from time to time… I understand how impossible they are to coordinate with an outfit. Fingers crossed we can ease this stigma.

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