The three most effective things adaptive clothing brands can do to delight their customers
Adaptive clothing brands in the UK are increasingly popping up all over the place. It’s an industry where existing companies care about disabled customers having choice and variety, so we tend to share each other’s strengths rather than trying to outdo each other.
It’s worth pointing out that some of the brands I’m going to talk about today might not refer to themselves as “adaptive”. There is some crossover between this term and “inclusive” (or “accessible”) and there are some differences too, but for the purposes of this post, I’m going to use the phrase “adaptive clothing”.
Looking at some of the other brands in this niche, it becomes apparent that there are three highly effective things they do to consistently deliver customer satisfaction:
- Listen to their audience
This collaboration demonstrates what happens when designers listen to their audience. Many people we’ve spoken to over the years have said they want clothing collections that are ‘inclusive’, rather than being designed exclusively for disabled people (i.e. so specialised that non-disabled customers could not or would not also wear them).
When you look at the trousers in the Gunda Hafner X Samanta Bullock collection, you see that there is a hidden “flap” to the rear of them. For wheelchair users, this flap slots out of the original trouser waistband to ensure modesty when leaning forward. But it’s invisible if you’re standing, so the trousers are aesthetically just the same as any other fashionable pair of women’s trousers.
- Go the extra mile
If you’re selling wheelchair fashion or inclusive fashion, customers appreciate the added extras, especially if they make life easier, provide product information clearly or support shared causes.
Whether it’s IZ Adaptive donating 20% of every mask sale to the Christopher and Dana Reeve foundation, creating handy animated visualisations of their products and how they work, like Elba London, or offering a gift wrapping service like The Able Label – brands that do more than simply selling their wares do better.
At Kintsugi, we go the extra mile in a number of ways, from offering free UK delivery and returns to adding value by creating powerful content that aims to effect positive social change.
- Create sustainably
The best designers are the ones that pay attention to every element of the garments they create. It’s easy to buy a cheaply made jersey dress from a fast fashion website, but the brands they excel are the ones that simply care more than that. Accessibility and sustainability are both equally important.
I’mdividual does this well, with their beautiful organic cotton tops and shirts. They even include the yarn origin, so you know exactly where and how the products are made. Where possible, they use UK suppliers to lower their carbon footprint. The same care can be seen in the Samanta x Amella lace and organic cotton bra, which is cut from GOTS Organic cotton jersey, free of toxic chemicals and ethically made in Portugal.
So, as you can see, the best adaptive clothing brands in the UK and beyond delight their customers in a number of ways because we truly value them, their experience, and the environment that all of us live in.