Ms. Ann Boer
Inspired by Lacey Shea
Designing and developing clothing for children with disability, and the Aged.
General public, Disability Corporations and facilities, Aged Care Facilities
How important is manufacturing clothes for differently-abled children and how big is the market for such clothing in Australia?
The unique design of garments that are specially made for differently-abled children is suitable to cater a vast range of needs. Whether the recipient is a victim of brain injury through accident, a burn victim, unable to move freely, or is inflicted with the most common disability in children, Cerebral Palsy, these garments will enable that person to be dressed and undressed in a quick, easy and more comfortable way.
It is important to have access to a range of clothing that allows the children to be dressed quickly and easily, without the struggle that often accompanies the task. For instance, a child with severe Cerebral Palsy cannot always assist with dressing as they are often quite stiff and physically unable to support themselves, therefore relying on the dresser to lift, hold and support the child, while at the same time juggling to get a garment on, one handed. The easy on easy off designs not only allows the child to be dressed while in a lying or sitting position, it reduces back and shoulder strain by minimizing the need for lifting.
The soft to touch, easy on the skin fabrics are needed for manufacturing apparels for differently-abled children. Hemp has proven to be of great interest, due to the organic nature since it is high UV resistant and is grown in a similar way as cotton. I believe that with unique feel and high level of comfort along with a high level of antibacterial properties, Booboo fabrics are also suitable for manufacturing these garments.
In Australia, sourcing appropriate fabrics is becoming increasingly difficult as most manufacturers have succumbed to moving offshore for economic reasons.
Although Hispanic countries do not seem to be as widely affected, in Australia alone, 1 in 500 births result in Cerebral Palsy i.e. 1 birth every 15 hours, affecting 34,000 Australians and around 17 million worldwide. So there is an enormous need around the world for a range of clothing that not only looks and feels good, but is practical and fashionable.
Published on: 05/09/2013
DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.