As the coronavirus pandemic has spread in the U.S., we’ve seen restrictions pop up across the country that rightfully aim to protect public health, but disproportionately affect women. At the top of the docket? The closure of public restrooms everywhere -- in restaurants, cafes, bars, gas stations, stores, parks, and golf courses. As smaller, highly trafficked places with tons of high-touch surfaces, public bathrooms are unfortunately ideal for the transmission of COVID-19. And with more people taking off to work remotely from new locations and vacation via car closer to home, they’ve increased in demand for some segments of the population. We’ve read articles offering creative advice, listened to podcasts and radio pieces explaining the situation and safety tips, and heard your struggle stories in the customer messages and emails we’ve been receiving. We hear you.
From the LA Times and Washington Post to Forbes and NPR, no one has been left unaffected by the issue of safely answering nature’s call, and no news source has deemed the issue too taboo to cover. It’s a basic human need, and without an ability to simply turn around and unzip in the parking lot or on the side of the road without exposing everything, many womxn have been left full-bladdered and frustrated. While bathroom inequality has always been an issue, it has only been highlighted and exacerbated under the pandemic. These are the exact conditions we had in mind when we created SheFly Apparel.
On that note, we had SheFly Ambassador and current Sustainable Supply Chain Summer Intern Ashley Lodmell weigh in with some of her success stories this summer using her SheFlys!
Do you have a pee story (successful, silly, or just plain sad) you’d like to share on our Unzipped Blog? Drop us a message on our website, or contact us via social media @SheFlyApparel on Instagram and Facebook.
Going on the Go: Peeing During a Pandemic
By: Ashley Lodmell,
SheFly Ambassador & Sustainable Supply Chain Summer Intern
In May, as Utah began to lift some of the COVID-19 restrictions, my brother and I drove from Salt Lake City to the Uinta Mountains through Evanston, Wyoming. Our goal was to hike and then ski King’s Peak -- the highest point in Utah. The trailhead was close and luckily, we didn't need to stop for gas at all. But, in preparation for the long hike ahead, I had drank a lot of water, which meant one thing was going to be guaranteed for me: pit stops. During a pandemic, you don’t necessarily want to stop and use a public bathroom [if you can even find one that’s open, that is], and thanks to SheFly, I didn’t have to. Wearing my SheFlys, I was able to pull over to the side of the road, unzip, answer nature’s call, and get back on the road -- all without exposing myself to the numerous passerby (not to mention my brother!). Not once on the way there, nor on the way back, did we have to stop to find a public bathroom. Not once was I forced to choose between risking my health by holding it in, or risking my health by using public restrooms in the middle of the coronavirus outbreak.
In June, I drove northwest from Utah to see my parents. On the way, I met my dad at Mount Shasta in California to hike and ski in the very place he grew up skiing, which was pretty special. Throughout the drive to California and Washington, I again used my SheFlys to pee en route in order to minimize gas station visits. I can’t tell you how nice it was to be able to pee on the side of the road safely, without exposing my butt to traffic or myself to COVID!
Throughout the rest of my trip throughout Oregon and Washington, I used my SheFlys to go anywhere and everywhere -- on the hikes up, on the hikes down, on the summits, and on the road to and from trails and parks. The freedom to relieve myself outdoors safely, privately, and comfortably is a freedom that, up until this point in my life, I’ve never been able to experience. It’s also a freedom I don’t plan on giving up anytime soon.