Adaptive clothing, which is apparel designed specifically for people with disabilities, is an area within the retail industry that is often overlooked.
One mother recognized that and took to Facebook to write about how thrilled she was to find that an iconic retailer she grew up with, Tommy Hilfiger, had launched an adaptive clothing collection with Runway of Dreams, an organization that focuses primarily on adapting mainstream clothing for special needs children.
In the post, Stephanie Giese, a blogger and mother of three, earnestly reflects on the struggles she’s had in past years in finding clothing suitable for her son Nicholas, who has special needs.
“And as he grows, it is harder and harder to find clothes that work,” Giese explained. “It is embarrassing for him to need to wear elastic waistbands or sweat pants all the time in order to be able to be independent. I cannot find jeans that do not have button or zipper closures in his size; I have to buy them big so he can pull them on and off, and he has to wear them without a belt — because belts are also too hard to operate independently. He can’t wear the same name brands that other kids do.”
Hilfiger’s adaptive collection was launched earlier this year, with exactly the same prices and nearly identical styles to its preexisting children’s collection. Just last month the retailer released its Fall 2016 Runway of Dreams collection — the retailer’s second collaboration with the organization. The spring collection sold out almost entirely within the first week.
Pieces from the collection feature MagnaReady magnetic snap closures in place of buttons and zippers, Velcro flies, and adjustability in waist, sleeve, and pant lines. Giese was especially pleased by these features.
“I cannot say how many times I have wished that pants for older children could be adjusted in the waist like toddler clothing because of medication that alters metabolism, or wished that buttons weren’t an issue,” she wrote. “I am literally sobbing and typing through tears because of the words ‘patented MagnaReady® magnetic front opening.'”
Check out the full Facebook post below.