What is the problem?

Millions of people have been disenfranchised by the fashion industry. People with disabilities, of all kinds, are forced to wear functional clothing, because the stylish clothing they would choose is not practical.

Yet with simple adaptations, fashion can be inclusive. And the good news is that more and more brands are waking up to the potential for adaptive clothing.

One of the pioneers is Unhidden Clothing, who presented this video at London Fashion week.

What is adaptive clothing?

Adaptive clothing makes simple, invisible changes to clothing, making them practical for disabled people, without compromising on style.

Examples of adaptions are
• Trousers, shirts, dresses or skirts that open at the sides with magnetic clasps, or Velcro, instead of buttons
• Clothes which allow easy access for medical equipment
• Trousers that are cut higher at the back for wheelchair users
• Wider neck and arm holes to make it easier to get in and out of
• Removing tags and seams that can irritate people with sensitive skin

Resources, organisations and brands leading the way

Fashion – Victoria Jenkins & Judith Cook

We are highlighting 3 stellar examples, with a comprehensive list below them for you to explore.

The Adaptive Fashion Collective call upon a wide range of designers, medical experts, occupational therapists, parents, caregivers and people with disabilities to audit businesses through a disability lens. They help them outline an action plan to improve the inclusivity of what they do.

Tommy Hilfiger has worked to create a line of adaptive clothing that is professional and stylish, staying true to the brand’s classic look. This men’s shirt has traditional sewn-on buttons, but there are hidden magnetic clasps behind the placket for easy on and off. The brand also offers styles with Velcro closures. We love that Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive has options for men, women and children too.

Living Made Easy is a website with a guide that self-selects adaptive clothing options to match your assistive needs

Elba London https://www.elbalondon.com/
Unhidden https://unhiddenclothing.com/
Tommy Hilfiger https://uk.tommy.com › … › ClothingMen’s Tommy Adaptive Clothing Collection
Liberare https://liberare.co/
Adaptista https://adaptista.com/
Optivus https://www.optivus.uk/
Harriet Eccleston https://www.harrieteccleston.co.uk/
Bombini tribe https://bombinitribe.com/
Seasalt Cornwall Seasalt’s Easy On range
Bealies https://www.bealiesadaptivewear.co.uk/
able2wear https://www.able2wear.co.uk/
The able label https://www.theablelabel.com/pages/about-us
friendly shoes https://friendlyshoes.co.uk
freefrom style https://freeformstyle.com/pages/contacto
Adaptawear https://adaptawear.com/
Models of diversity https://modelsofdiversity.org/
M & S https://www.marksandspencer.com/l/kids/easy-dressing
Asda https://direct.asda.com/george/collections/easy-on-easy-wear-school/D28M110G1C3,default,sc.html
H & M not on website
ASOS not on website
NIKE https://www.nike.com/gb/flyease
ADIDAS https://www.adidas.com/us/puremotion-adapt-shoes/FX7326.html
Zappos https://www.zappos.com/adaptive-clothing
Popsyclothing https://www.popsyclothing.co.uk/
Seated sewing https://seatedsewing.co.uk/

Scarlett Murray is a 22 year-old mother of one, and a talented writer who blogs about her experiences of living with Cerebral Palsy. Her form of CP is left-sided hemiphlegia. She tells us her story.

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Young woman with little girl (Scarlett Murray and daughter)

Clive Gilbert is a leading policy expert on assistive technology for disabled people, drawing in part, on his own experiences living with Cerebral Palsy. He tells us his story.

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Man using assistive technology (Clive Gilbert)