CNBC: Major Retailers are Launching Affordable Clothing Lines for Children with Disabilities

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We love this story, and the fact that it was AAPN member Target who started it all.

Major retailers are launching affordable clothing lines for children with disabilities
CNBC, JUL 22 2019

When Mindy Scheier’s son Oliver came home from school in 2014, the then-eight-year-old told her he wanted to start wearing jeans like his friends. It might seem like a common request, but for Mindy there was a challenge: Oliver has a rare form of muscular dystrophy, which causes physical disabilities.

“When he first started going to school, we decided he would just wear sweatpants everyday,” Scheier said. But doing this “made him feel like he was dressing disabled.”

So she picked up her scissors. Scheier, a fashion designer, cut up a pair of jeans and added Velcro so Oliver could comfortably wear them. When he put them on, “he felt so good about himself,” she said. “He felt like every other eight-year-old kid.”

Scheier said that at the time there were no mainstream, fashionable options for people with disabilities.

That’s changed.

Scheier founded Runway of Dreams Foundation, a nonprofit working to make fashion more accessible for people with disabilities, and partnered with Tommy Hilfiger in 2016 to launch a line of adaptive clothing for children. It wouldn’t be the last apparel retailer to enter the space.

In 2017, (AAPN member) Target added adaptive apparel made specifically for kids and toddlers with disabilities to its children’s line Cat & Jack.

The same year, Zappos launched Zappos Adaptive on its website, where it began selling sensory-friendly clothing.

Most recently, in June Kohl’s announced that it will introduce adaptive apparel to its three largest children’s brands. Kohl’s clothing will have features including abdominal access, wheelchair-friendly options and sensory-friendly options, such as shirts with flat seams, which are designed specifically for children with autism or sensory processing disorder so they don’t feel the clothing pinch or rub too hard against their skin. Read More