WAYNE, Pa (CBS) — A father of Wayne has created a clothing line to honor his daughter and raise awareness for eating disorders. This is part of our ongoing coverage for May, which is Mental Health Awareness Month.
It’s a wholesome, spiritual fashion that comes from a father who turned grief into a mission of love and helping others.
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These are traditional clothes and products made in Bhutan and Nepal that are now sold in Wayne.
“It breathes the spirit of the Himalayas because it’s made with love,” said Frank Rapoport.
This part of the world has a special meaning for Rapoport and his daughter Alex.
“She loved it there. She loved the people of the Himalayas,” Rapoport said.
She found peace there, but it didn’t last. Alex struggled with an eating disorder for 20 years.
“I thought I could do anything, but I couldn’t save her. He’s just a demon. He’s a devil,” Rapoport said.
Alex died in June 2016 by suicide at the age of 32.
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To honor his daughter and raise awareness about eating disorders, Rapoport created a line of clothing. “It’s called SamSara Gear. The SamSara is the cycle of life, death and reincarnation,” Rapoport said.
The Buddhist-inspired clothing line includes vests, jackets and bags, all organic and hand-woven.
“He comes from the kingdom of Bhutan, which is a democratic Buddhist country. And I think I struck gold there. The women shear their sheep, the forest dyes the wool and have been sitting on a loom for 800 years,” Rapoport said.
The patterns woven into the fabric have a specific spiritual meaning ranging from long life to compassion and awareness.
“I call it fashion therapy,” Rapoport said. “Clothing imbued with the spirit of the Himalayas. So it honors your body.
Profits from SamSara are used to support treatments for eating disorders.
It’s estimated that 10 million Americans have struggled with an eating disorder at some point in their lives.
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Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.