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Adaptive Fashion Takes Centre Stage in an Australian First

A dedicated adaptive fashion runway showcasing creations designed for people with disability.

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Adaptive Fashion Takes Centre Stage in an Australian First

This year, Australian Fashion week looked and felt very different from previous years. For the very first time in Australian history, it showcased a dedicated adaptive fashion runway.

Throughout the festival, the fashion industry demonstrated its ongoing commitment to diversity in fashion covering all kinds of shapes, sizes and ethnicities, but what loved most, is that it included people of all abilities, with a show dedicated entirely to adaptive fashion.

Put simply, adaptive fashion celebrates and accommodates people who need clothing to work with their individual needs while also allowing self-expression and style. Australian Fashion Week put a spotlight on brands that are leading the way in producing mainstream, quality fashion for everyone of all abilities.

Long overlooked in mainstream fashion circles, 2022 has seen runways in the US and Australia put adaptive fashion front-and-centre with publications like Vogue and Forbes jumping on board to share the stories and brands making us see that fashion and style is for everyone.

In early 2016, US fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger launched Tommy Adaptive, that set off the exposure and interest in adaptive fashion that continues to grow.

Source: AAP / JAMES GOURLEY

Here are some Australian adaptive fashion clothing brands we love:

JAM the Label

Founded in 2019, JAM is an inclusive fashion label designed with people with disability in mind. JAM embraces universal design principles to create products that makes the task of dressing easier or makes the items more comfortable for people to wear.

Founded by Emma Clegg and Molly Rogers, the amazing duo met while studying occupational therapy at university, where they bonded over their shared passion of the inclusion of people with disability and increasing independence and self-expression for all.

We are so impressed with just how much these amazing ladies have achieved in such a short amount of time, and can’t wait to see what they do next!

Every Human

If you haven’t come across them yet, EveryHuman is an inclusive and adaptable online fashion site that was established in 2019 by Sydney-based, Matt Skerritt, whose family owned and operated nursing homes. Matt saw first-hand the challenges the ageing and differently abled population face when getting dressed. He had a corporate job; a job where he could put on a suit to face his working day and choose his own style on weekends. He wanted everyone to have the same experience and choose their own style.

So, he started EveryHuman to initially provide uncompromising and stylish fashion and footwear solutions for people with disabilities and in just two years, it has grown to also include lifestyle products like beauty, books, wheelchair accessories, and more.

Christina Stephens

The inclusive, Brisbane-based fashion label gives people the choice to feel confident and empowered in clothing that looks good and stylish.

Launched in March 2020, Christina Stephens goal is to bring adaptive clothing to mainstream fashion retailers by creating pieces that are discreetly functional and fit for purpose but are beautiful and desirable by customers with and without disabilities.

Recovawear

Recovawear fills a current void in the rehabilitation process, offering clothing to the injured and post-surgery patients while providing a solution that is also comfortable, stylish, sustainable adaptive clothing for people with movement limitations, who otherwise find it difficult to dress.

Watch this space! We are sure that these great designers will not be the only ones achieving great things in the adaptive fashion industry, and we are excited to see what other major events will embrace disability inclusion.