As children, we inherit a predisposition to defining fashion. We’re taught that fashion should be beautiful. We’re taught over and over that “pain is beauty,” and the more uncomfortable you are, the more beautiful you are. Gowns and clothing found on the red carpet are zipped up, double ribboned, and then fitted extra tight. Let’s face it: societal’s standard for fashion is unrealistic and impractical.
Disabled people want to look good and feel beautiful just like everyone else. Isn’t that enough of a reason for making clothing more adaptive and inclusive for everyone?
Thankfully, adaptive clothing brands are breaking the mold for what can also be considered beautiful. Children with disabilities, who become adults with disabilities, find themselves trying to fit a societal standard for what is deemed beautiful and that is an impossible mold to fill. At Liberare, we believe that clothing should be comfortable, beautiful, and adaptive. We shouldn’t have to sacrifice beauty for functionality. It’s possible to have all three.
However, it happens too often that people often have to sacrifice fashion for function and end up feeling bland and unappealing. Luxury clothing, lingerie, and high fashion designs are often created and intended for nondisabled people. It’s unfortunate that an often marginalized disabled community finds themselves even more marginalized when it comes to clothing. Seriously… why is it so hard to find clothing that is both accessible and still beautiful?!
This is why adaptive apparel is so important.Because feeling beautiful in your own skin is a human right. Clothing should be designed with the disabled person in mind, to be both beautiful and adaptive. Disabled people are already underserved and underrepresented. We shouldn’t continue to be made to feel inferior for something as simple as getting dressed. A quarter of the United States population is disabled and, still, adaptive clothing only makes up a small portion of the fashion industry.
Adaptive clothing matters because there are hundreds of thousands of disabled people in the world who don’t deserve to feel any more different than society already makes them feel. Being inclusive means disabled people, too.
Being disabled comes with so many uncontrollable situations. Simple things like getting dressed shouldn’t be something that we have to struggle with. Disabled people should have a seat at the table when it comes to the design of adaptive clothing. How can you create something for someone when that person has no say in what makes sense for them?
It took us over TWO years to launch our first line because we took the time to ask and test products in our community. We listened to their feedback. We took their suggestions to heart. And we continue to do so to this day so that we can provide the best adaptive bras and underwear for our community. And who knows? Maybe we’ll expand our line of clothing in the future.
We hope that one day “adaptive clothing” won’t be its own defined category and it’ll all just be considered “fashion”. We hope that there will no longer be a separation between disabled bodies and nondisabled bodies when it comes to fashion and adaptive clothing.