Amputee launches own charity clothing brand

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An amputee who was told if he did not have his leg removed he would die has launched his own clothing brand to support a charity close to his heart.

Craig Styles, 34, of Britannia Road, Kettering, has launched Amp Stuff, a clothing business which will donate a percentage of each sale to injured soldiers’ charity BLESMA.

Mr Styles, a dad-of-four, was serving in the army when he suffered an accident which left him paralysed from the waist down and doctors told him if his leg was not removed, he would die.

He said: “BLESMA is a charity close to my heart, they have helped support me so much, so this is my way of giving something back.

“I hope it will become a successful business, but the big thing is to help out the charity and support other amputees.

“If we could promote the message that yes, having your leg amputated does feel like the end of the world, but life goes on, then that would be great. I like to say that my amputation is not a disability, it’s an inconvenience.”

It took 12 months for the ex-serviceman to return to health after his accident, only for his leg to become infected with septicemia, which threatened his life in 2002.

The decision was taken to remove the lower part of his leg.

After a further infection in 2010, doctors told him he would need to have his knee removed or face death.

Amp Stuff currently stocks t-shirts, polo shirts, hoodies, as well as stickers showcasing the brand’s logo, which Mr Styles designed.

The clothes are produced by Kettering-based Artisan Signs, and they are despatched from his home address.

The store’s website went live on Tuesday, racking up more than 400 hits on the first day.

Mr Styles, who is a salesman in his day job, has big plans for the brand.

He added: “It’s hard juggling it with my other job but I think this could become a successful brand.

“It’s all about getting the message out there.

“With the war in Afghanistan ongoing, injuries are more and more in the public eye.”

BLESMA relies entirely on charity fundraising.