Adaptive Clothing - What is it?
Adaptive clothing is an important area of the fashion and clothing industry that has unfortunately received far too little attention so far. However, something is happening in the market. Adaptive clothing items are continuously being developed for a wide variety of needs – now also by well-known fashion brands. By combining functionality and fashion, adaptive clothing helps to improve the quality of life and well-being of people with physical disabilities or chronic diseases. It aims to make dressing, undressing, wearing and comfort easier for people who, because of disability, illness or other physical impairments, are unable to wear clothing designed and produced for able-bodied and able-bodied people. In addition, its function and design are tailored to the needs and limitations of those affected. It enables more independence and autonomy in everyday life and can improve people's quality of life.
Adaptive clothing – how do you recognize it?
Adaptive clothing can have various features that meet individual needs, such as:
- Openings and closures: Special closure systems such as Velcro, magnets or snaps can be used instead of traditional buttons or zippers to make dressing and undressing easier.
- Adjustable Sizes: Garments will be made of adjustable or elastic materials to allow for customization to different body shapes or puffiness.
- Open back: Garments such as shirts or dresses may have an open back to make it easier to dress for people who have difficulty raising their arms overhead.
- Special materials: Adaptive clothing can be made from soft, skin-friendly materials that are not irritating or prevent pressure points. Seams, which can irritate or cause itching, are often avoided. In addition, the clothing can also have moisture absorption, breathability or temperature-regulating properties.
- Accessible Designs: Garments can be designed to be easily operated by those with limited fine motor skills or limited mobility. This can include, for example, large buttons, contrasting colors or tactile elements.
Adaptive Clothing - For more inclusion and diversity
Overall, adaptive clothing helps to break down barriers related to clothing and dressing, enabling people with disabilities to achieve greater levels of comfort, independence and participation. It facilitates the dressing process, is comfortable and gentle on the skin and promotes self-determination. Adaptive clothing plays an important role in promoting the inclusion of people with disabilities. It enables these people to dress practically and beautifully and to participate in various activities, events or work environments without being excluded due to clothing barriers. Everyone has different needs when it comes to clothing. Adaptive Clothing recognizes this diversity and offers solutions tailored to individual needs.
The acceptance of adaptive clothing is steadily increasing. The combination of increasing demand, growing awareness, fashion design and a societal focus on inclusion contributes to adaptive clothing being seen as an important part of the apparel industry.
Adaptive clothing - trend or long history?
Many think adaptive clothing is a new trend. However, if you look at history, there are milestones that go back many decades. Adaptations were made to clothing for people with physical disabilities as early as the 19th century. For example, corsets and bodices for women with scoliosis have been modified to improve spinal posture. During and after World War II, adaptive garments were developed to meet the needs of war veterans with physical disabilities. This included, for example, prosthesis holders, special cuts for wheelchair users or adjustable closures for people with missing limbs. In the 1960s and 1970s, the disability movement grew in importance, and with it a greater awareness of the needs of people with disabilities. This led to an increased focus on adaptive clothing that emphasized functionality, comfort and independence. As textile technology advances and new materials are developed, adaptive garments have continued to improve. Elastic fabrics, breathable materials and skin-friendly fabrics were introduced, which increased the comfort and functionality of the clothes.
In recent decades there has been an increasing focus on the concept of "design for all" or "universal design". This approach emphasizes the design of products, including clothing, that are accessible and usable for all people, regardless of their individual abilities or limitations.
Nowadays, adaptive clothing is offered by various companies and designers worldwide. The industry has evolved to meet the needs of people with different physical disabilities, whether it be those in wheelchairs, with sensory sensitivities, cognitive impairments or other specific needs. The aim is to combine fashion and functionality to give people more independence, comfort and style.
What is special about Wombly adaptive clothing?
Wombly adaptive kidswear focuses on babies and children who need medical care as well as premature babies, since our own experience and extensive research indicate that the range in this area is insufficient. Our clothing has special openings and devices for children with disabilities and chronic diseases. It facilitates the daily handling of stomas and tubes, prostheses and orthoses, catheters and infusions as well as fractures and plaster casts. For the little ones, many of our items of clothing are available from undersize 32/38.
We also pay attention to the materials at Wombly. All clothes are made of eco-certified fabrics, are extra soft and comfortable to wear. Thanks to the innovative closure technology, a button band with plastic buttons, many of our products are radiation-safe and perfectly suited for a hospital stay. Not only, but especially with our premature baby hats, we make sure to avoid scratchy seams.
At Wombly adaptive kidswear, we design clothes that are both functional and beautiful. It is intended to make everyday medical care easier for parents and caregivers and to strengthen the children's self-esteem and self-determination.
Challenges we still have to overcome
Although the overall acceptance of adaptive clothing is positive, there are still challenges and obstacles. These include limited availability in certain regions, high prices for specialized adaptive clothing, limited design options, and potential stigma that can be associated with wearing adaptive clothing. These obstacles can limit acceptance in some cases. We are therefore committed to more awareness and education about adaptive clothing and want to help make it better known and accepted. By disseminating information about its benefits and availability, both people with disabilities and the general public are made aware of the importance and value of adaptive clothing.
Did you know what adaptive clothing is? Are you affected yourself or do you know affected people? We look forward to an exchange of experiences.