High Street Retailer M&S Launches An Adaptive Clothing Line For Children With Disabilities - By Lottie Jackson
Last month Marks & Spencer was hailed as ground-breaking following the launch of its new adaptive clothing range for children with disabilities. The “Adapted for Easy Dressing” line includes everything from trousers and shorts with poppers (instead of zips), T-shirts with soft velcro fastenings at the back of the neck and dresses with discreet pockets for a feeding tube.
Not only are the garments are fabricated with the softest materials, they contain as few seams as possible to avoid irritating sensitive skin. They are also principally designed to make getting dressed less stressful for children and their parents or carers.
Two years in the making, this positive move is a first for a UK high street retailer. It is thought the range was based on a survey of opinions from 300 parents. “We’ve absolutely loved working on this project and are proud that every product started from listening to mums and dads”, says Rebecca Garner, Kidswear designer at M&S.
“Parents passionately told us that disabilities don’t define their children, so the adaptations shouldn’t define their clothes” she continues, “That’s why all the products are modelled closely on our main collection. So whilst big sister might wear a dress with sequins, the little one who wants to match but has sensory needs will have a softer glitter. Offering great value has been a key consideration and parents purchasing Easy Dressing products will never pay more.”
The new range, available exclusively on Marks & Spencer’s website, is affordable with prices ranging from £3 to £36.
Phil Talbot, Head of Communications at disability equality charity Scope, remarks “it’s fantastic to see one of the UK’s most iconic high street retailers blazing a trail in clothes for disabled children. Too often clothes designers, retailers and producers simply don’t think about disabled families. We hope more fashion designers and retailers will follow M&S’ lead and stock accessible clothing ranges [because] all disabled children should have an equal chance to dress in the latest fashions. At Scope, we believe that anyone working to challenge negative attitudes and celebrate disability is a Disability Gamechanger. Change requires action at all levels and everyone can play their part.”