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Disabled customers cut out by fashion industry

Three quarters of disabled people feel their needs are not being met by mainstream fashion in the UK, new data shows. 

Specialised brands were also found to not be an attractive alternative, with just 11% of respondents buying items from adaptive brands or ranges. 

The brands were described as “expensive” as well as “old fashioned” and “[having] not enough range”.

This is according to a survey by international disability charity Leonard Cheshire. 

A further 96% of those surveyed also believe there is not enough representation of disability across the fashion industry. They found that shopping in-store was made difficult due to a lack of representative mannequins modelling items. 

“Disabled people want to be ‘on trend’ too. Yet, with mainstream brands failing to consider disability in their designs, disabled people are often being left without the option to shop from the retailers they are most drawn to and priced out of the market by adaptive ranges,” said disability rights campaigner and Leonard Cheshire’s campaign support officer Joshua Reeves.

TV presenter and Leonard Cheshire ambassador Sophie Morgan added: ”It’s unsurprising so many disabled people feel like mainstream fashion is not currently meeting their needs. While there have been some positive developments in the industry, such as more disabled models on the catwalk and a growing number of disabled beauty bloggers, there is still some way to go before fashion is truly inclusive.

“Disabled people should be able to express themselves through fashion just like everyone else, but their options can be limited. By failing to take the needs of disabled people into account, brands are missing out on a huge market hungry for variety and choice.”





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