On A Mission To Champion Accessible Adaptive Fashion: The Launch Of The UK’s First Disability-Led High-End Shopping Platform
Shifting the narrative, disability-led shopping platform Adaptista is on a meaningful mission to celebrate one of the largest, yet often underrepresented, minority groups through the art of fashion. Operating as a hub for brands that offer quality, fashion-forward inclusive pieces that are innovated to tailor to people with disabilities, the e-commerce platform is the first-of-its-kind and will also feature a range of beauty and lifestyle products to explore.
Founded by garment technologist and disability advocate Maria O’Sullivan-Abeyratne, Adaptista was born from the need of finding truly adaptive solutions for a wide variety of people living with disabilities. After being forced to retire from her career as an international equestrian and triathlete due to an incurable illness, Maria has first-hand experience of the daily difficulty of buying and wearing clothes. This particularly resonated with the founder during her wedding day, where she struggled with putting on her wedding dress, “After a lot of frustration and giggles, it hit me – there must be a better way,” the disability advocate said.
The platform highlights a carefully curated selection of adaptive brands that offer solution-driven products, whilst also acting as a disabled-led support network for customers and brands. Here the site prioritises community care by offering training and business development opportunities.
Highlights from the site include Design by björk’s trendy and practical clothing designs for wheelchair users, Vanhu Vamwe, an ethical and sustainable Zimbabwean brand handcrafting luxury accessories and BP3 Underwear, absorbent, washable underwear that protects you from all leaks. But it doesn’t stop there, inclusive beauty brand, Kohl Kreatives specialises in tools supporting motor disabilities, transgender, and cancer care communities, whilst Constant & Zoé produces accessible unisex clothing for children, adults and seniors, with the mission of offering specialised clothing to people facing partial, temporary or permanent loss of mobility. Notably, the platform also treats us to Palm of Feronia’s offering of aromatherapy and crystal healing.
The bespoke built website allows for agility in accessibility with features that are currently being tested and implemented by disabled and inclusive software development experts. Partnering with the UK’s leading accessibility tool, Recite Me, the brand ensured the installation of key site characteristics such as text to speech, speech recognition, page translation, magnification, and text styling.
Whilst the Adaptive clothing market is set to grow by $121bn by 2026, there is without a doubt still a tangible lack of disability-led shopping options but Adaptista is certainly paving the way.