The importance of adaptive clothing and other alternative apparel options goes beyond its direct role in fashion and can represent a life-changing means for some people.
The following teams of design and brands are pushing examples of how they bring inclusivity and awareness to an adaptive garment. More importantly, they are also a call to action to the fashion industry to step up and create inclusive products for everyone on the team.
Special Kids Company, United Kingdom
Sasha Radwan is the founder of Special Kids Company. She was inspired to bring her vision of inclusivity when learning an extended family member was disabled and institutionalized. Since then, Sasha Radwan’s vision has been about embracing children with disabilities and not keeping their uniqueness hidden.
Special Kids Company offers bodysuits, bibs, vests, swimwear, wheelchair covers, chewies for pets, and more. Above all, the fabric used is KayCey which is AZO free, durable, and soft, perfect for children with special needs such as autism, ADHD, and among different abilities.
Mikita Fashion, Israel
Shay Senior and Netanel Yehuda Halevi are two Israeli entrepreneurs of Palta Clothing, an adaptive garment collection that is also practical for people without disabilities.
In Israel21c article, Senior described his issue with buttons after he had injured his right arm during his military service. He says “we created a solution similar to LEGO. You can press the shirt closed with an arm or wrist.”
“Palta garments come with a tag that a blind person can scan with a smartphone. As a result, it allows them to hear what the item is, its size and color, and care instructions” Senior adds during his interview.
Open Style Lab, US
Open Style Lab creates stylish and functional clothing. They collaborate with engineers, occupational therapists, designers – and most importantly people with disabilities. Style is a big value at OSL, with the goal of helping to open doors to employment and raising confidence. A highlight of the creative process is the collaboration with design architects to create a mannequin that emulates the shapes of individuals with disabilities and users with hyper-back curvature.
Open Style Lab also launched its “Hack-ability Kit”, in collaboration with youth with physical disabilities. The kit provides tools and instructions to teach individuals to alter their clothing to fit their specific needs.
IZ Adaptive, Canada
From Hollywood film work to inclusive design, designer Izzy Camilleri is a Toronto-based fashion designer. After her encounter with a woman who was a victim of a robbery shooting leaving her paralyzed. The woman with the spinal cord injury mentioned to Izzy that “her studio remarkably had no steps”, since then their journey together has been educational and proactive.
IZ Adaptive collection includes women, men, non-gender apparel in diverse sizes ranging from XS to 12.