Addressing the need for healthwear – adaptive clothing for the physically impaired – is a major challenge the fashion industry must undertake in order to achieve total inclusivity. Several brands and designers are attempting to tackle the issue head on and are leading the way in this growing movement.
- UK-based brand Teatum Jones has just announced it will collaborate with the British Paralympic team on disabled and able-bodied ranges that seamlessly bridge the gap between the two. Developing the garments over the coming months, it aims to showcase the collection on models with disabilities at London Fashion Week next year.
- Canadian brand Iz Collection takes into account the subtle design tweaks needed when creating apparel for seated wheelchair users. Seeing fashion as a source of functionality as well as individuality, each piece in the collection is fitted with discrete details such as wrap waists for jeans and open-snap backs on tees.
- US brand ABL Denim creates trend-driven jeans that cater to people with limited mobility or dexterity. Features include higher waistbands for wheelchair-dependent customers and integrated weights that act as therapy tools for those with sensory disorders.
- US-based Care + Wear aims to bring functional fashion into the healthcare industry. The brand is currently working with Parsons School of Design graduate and fellow healthwear designer Lucy Jones on a wide range of patient-friendly apparel. Products include wheelchair-compatible gloves and shirts that allow for the easy insertion of medical ports.
For further information on inclusivity and designing for purpose, see 2017: Look Ahead.