With the current rapid growth in the population of people with special needs comes a subsequently new and unfamiliar terrain in fashion design and in adaptive clothing; the fundamental human need for identity, freedom and creativity is now attainable to those who in many ways want it most.
But does the availability of adaptive clothing warrant such a hefty deceleration of freedom and identity to those often undermined consumers – and should present day fashion establishments make more of a conscious effort to grant people with special needs the basic human necessity of freedom and individuality just as they do their regular fashion-greedy consumers?
If fashion has the potential to satisfy our desires for personal expression and belonging, why is it that we are still ostracizing people within our communities who want most the simplest form of an expression of individuality that is readily available to our already over-fed consumerist society? The neglect and insensitivity that modern day society and the contemporary fashion community has cast over those who are suppose to be cared for is shameless and hurtful – not only has the attainability of adaptive clothing only just taken heat, but the variety and creativity in the garments available is quite frankly, a pathetic excuse for ‘fashion’.
With the factor of accessibility in dressing and undressing for both the convenience of the carers and the comfort of the wearer the primary priority in the production of garments, an expression of individualism and creativity is often overlooked. With this in mind, operations like ‘Independence Day Clothing’ are actively seeking ways in which they can produce a sense of expression in the design of adaptive clothing; artists in residency programs are just one of the ways this enterprise is able to construct relatively innovative designs in a simplicity-driven field of contemporary fashion.
Visit the Independence Day Clothing website here:
Fletcher K, Grose L, Fashion and Sustainability: Design for Change, 2012, pg. 76, 77, 78, 132, 133, 134, 136