‘Inaccessibility is a collective problem’: the promise and limits of adaptive fashion

When Angel Dixon acquired her disability, clothes shopping suddenly became complicated. She wanted things that worked for her: soft fabrics with no tags (because of nerve pain), and garments without buttons, zips or hooks would have been handy. She also – importantly – wanted to look good.

On a day trip from the hospital with her mother, Dixon realised she couldn’t even access most of the stores with her wheelchair. The change rooms were also inaccessible.

“I ended up finding mid-length jersey material dresses I could just pull over my head and crying when I got back to the hospital from exhaustion and confusion,” she says.

Diversity and inclusivity have recently become fashion watchwords, and brands have responded by, among other initiatives, designing lines of adaptive clothing. Merging fashion with function to cater to differently abled people, adaptive clothing is designed to make getting dressed easier, more convenient and even pain-free for people from all walks of life.

This year, The Iconic became the first major Australian and New Zealander retailer to release a dedicated “adaptive edit” in early August, citing the launch as part of their “commitment to a more inclusive Australian fashion landscape”.

Grace Stratton, director of [...]

Read article at theguardian.com

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