25 February 2021

A green jacket with buttons, zip and adjustable size cord, on a golden yellow background

Adaptive clothing is only part of the answer for making the Australian fashion industry more accessible

Model and activist Angel Dixon recently shared what she believes are two significant, yet invisible barriers which deter people with disability from entering bricks and mortar retail stores.

Physically accessing a store or if staff appear to feel uncomfortable around people with disability are significant deterrents, according to Angel - enough to deter some people from entering at all.

The ambient or functional noise of a shopping centre can be physically and psychologically overwhelming for many people with disability.

"Clothes have the power to make us feel confident, change our mood, and express our personality," says Jenny McAllister, a disability-focused fashion blogger who runs the website StyleAbility.

Furthermore, it is even the daily act of dressing which is particularly challenging for people with a physical disbility.

This can mean struggling with putting on the kinds of everyday items most people take for granted: blouses with buttons, sneakers with laces and trousers with zippers.

When accessibility becomes more of a standard consideration for retailers, the fashion industry can welcome millions more potential customers into their fold.

Read more about how the fashion industry can become more accessible via the ABC website

Author

Anna Burchfield

For media enquiries, please contact

adrian.bradley@apm.net.au

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