Big brands debut adaptive offerings for consumers with special needs

Modern youth prize inclusivity, leading them to patronize and support brands that champion this issue. As these consumers push to evolve the cultural conversation around special needs and ability, the following brands are continuing to offer adaptive products that address a range of disabilities so that all consumers can enjoy the products they’ve come to expect from such brands.


Target’s latest inclusive offering is a line of adaptive Halloween costumes for children with disabilities. When concepting these adorable costumes, Target’s designers considered the various needs within a range of disabilities, from needing a wheelchair to having autism or other sensory disorders. For kids in a wheelchair, Target offers a princess or pirate costume with an accompanying carriage and ship, respectively, while for kids with autism or another sensory disorder, Target created a shark and a unicorn costume, both of which contain abdominal openings for children that need medical equipment and are designed to be extra soft with no raised seams or tags. The shark and unicorn retail for $30 while the princess and pirate cost $20-$25 for the outfit and $45 for each wheelchair cover.


This summer, Kohl’s debuted an adaptive apparel offering for children with special needs. The clothing is designed for those ages three months and up (along with a Juniors and Young Men’s offering) and, like Target’s offering, is designed to address a range of disabilities. The clothing sports wheelchair- and sensory-friendly fabrics, trims, and details, has access points for medical accessories, and is diaper-friendly, depending on the individual pieces. The line contains a variety of versatile pieces that can be worn throughout the different seasons and the pieces retail for anywhere between $7 and $46.


Nike designed an upcoming version of its Air Zoom UNVRS sneaker to allow athletes with disabilities to get in and out of these shoes with more ease. This sneaker—which has a magnetized heel strip that folds back, allowing wearers to easily slide their foot in and out of the shoe with little effort—is part of Nike’sFlyEase initiative, a line that offers shoe options for athletes of all abilities, and will hit the market later this year. This initiative demonstrates Nike’s continued commitment to integrating inclusive design into its many offerings.