In recent years, well-known brands like clothing brands have begun introducing adaptive clothing lines for children. Aerie recently featured a model who uses a wheelchair and another with an ostomy pouch. These are great strides, and behinds all the big name marketing are the people leading a movement for more inclusion in the fashion world, especially for kids.
Target has been at the forefront with a line of adaptive clothing for children with disabilities and special needs. The clothing comes without tags or seams, a huge plus for children who find new textures irritating. Bodysuits are easy to access for diaper changes, while wheelchairs-friendly jackets have side-openings and zip-on sleeves for easier dressing.
Tommy Hilfiger, a company best known for its high-end sportswear, just launched Tommy Adaptive, a line of clothing for children and adults with various needs; choices range from jeans that fit over prosthetic legs to shirts with easy-open necklines.
Zappos has started selling adaptive shoes and clothing, including stability-enhancing sneakers and shirts with magnetic buttons.
With more than 1 in 10 Americans having some type of disability and those numbers rising as people age, adaptive fashion is a growth industry. These companies that are stepping up to give those with special needs stylish options are helping those who feel all-too-different have a chance to fit in.