Image of children using accessible t-shirts

You’ve heard of Adaptive and Accessible Clothing, but what do these terms actually mean?

Adaptive / Accessible

When talking about this clothing, the words adaptive and accessible are often used interchangeably.

Simply put, the term refers to clothing designed for people with specific needs. Clothing which despite these needs, allows a person to dress comfortably and easily. Usually, this clothing is designed for people:

– With limited mobility, including those in wheelchairs.
– Who require assistive medical equipment such as g-tubes, ports, stoma and colostomy bags, insulin pumps etc.
– With conditions including sensory processing disorder and autism spectrum disorder.

Adaptive and accessible baby romper. Medical clothing for a baby in hospital or post surgery.

Where can I find Adaptive and Accessible Clothing?

Historically, people in need of accessible clothing options have largely been ignored. Especially by the mainstream Australian fashion industry.

Because of this, a number of small companies, have emerged, like us here at Cocooned. These smaller companies are developing specific lines to meet specific accessible needs.

Hello Yello is a wonderful Australian business bringing together a lot of these smaller companies. Offering clothing for a broad range of body types, including people with disabilities, different needs and abilities. 

The rise of these small companies, illustrates the need for larger manufacturers to step up and offer adaptive and accessible options as part of their everyday lines.

This is starting to happen, evident when clothing designer Tommy Hilfiger introduced his adaptive collection in 2016.

Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive puts a new twist on tradition, delivering modern style with innovative modifications that empower people and make dressing easier.

Tommy Hilfiger Website

It’s an important step, but it’s not enough.

Anyone should be able to go into a big box clothing store and purchase clothing that suits their needs. Basic, comfortable, functional clothing that’s accessible to everyone.


What accessible and adaptive clothing needs do you or someone you know have?

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