Wednesday, July 11, 2018

#Inclusive by Abby and Kristen

One of the best parts of blogging and being on social media is the connections I've made to others. It's been great to connect with other people with disabilities (and in this case, other people with SMA), who are interested in the same things that I am. I'm really excited for you to read about what Abby and Kristen are working on, and I hope that you'll support their #Inclusive campaign and their goal of starting an inclusive fashion line!
The idea for creating an inclusive and adaptive clothing line sprouted from a shopping trip with my best friend/co-founder Kristen.  I had just graduated college and needed interview clothes. I was struggling to find dress pants that looked fashionable, fit nice, and were comfortable sitting in my wheelchair. It was Kristen who actually brought it to my attention that there were no brands really making or marketing clothes for people who used wheelchairs. We realized after that shopping trip that we needed to do something to fix this. This is where the idea of an inclusive clothing line came about.

We are creating a brand that is truly inclusive and starting with a focus on jeans for individuals who use wheelchairs.  These jeans will be different from the normal denim because we are thinking about a seated body when creating these them. From the cut, fit, and materials we are utilizing to develop our products - these are just a few of the adaptations making to create a jean that fits and feels comfortable for people who use wheelchairs. We hope to create not only the best fitting, most stylish jeans you own - but also a community that accepts and allows individuals to connect and engage to the fullest 
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We have been in the research and product development stage for about a year now - with most of that time being research. There are many challenges that we are confronted by as we build an emerging brand in a space and industry that has not been successfully scaled before. But those challenges are also what give us drive and determination we couldn’t get anywhere else 
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Our first project is a t-shirt campaign that focuses on inclusion, with a hope to spark conversations about what being inclusive means and how to join the movement. We were really excited to launch t-shirts, tanks tops, jerseys, and sweatshirts with our Inclusive logo last month. You can view and buy them here, but only through Saturday! We want the world to be an inclusive place for people of all abilities, and this campaign goes directly towards making that dream a reality! We are enrolled in Factory45, a sustainable fashion accelerator program that takes us from idea to product development to launch. This also means that we have access to suppliers and manufacturers who are based in the US, which is very important to us growing up in the textile communities of Valdese and Hickory, NC! Our #inclusive campaign is providing the resources for us to be able to participate in this program.

We have been blown away by the support we’ve seen so far! We are excited for what the future holds for our first adaptive denim line and Inclusive Brand. To get the latest updates, visit our Instagram page here.  
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