Amplifying the importance of ability-inclusive brands

According to the CDC, Up to 1 in 4 adults in the United States live with a disability. Today, many brands are looking to provide innovative and adaptive options in their collections, ensuring that products are available and comfortable for everyone, regardless of their mobility, sensory, or other challenges. This is especially prevalent amongst Gen Zs, who reflect a growing awareness of the importance of designing with empathy and the desire to break down barriers between different communities. Let’s take a look at a few recent examples entering the space.


In August, and tying in nicely with Back to School season, Pottery Barn announced the launch of the brand’s largest back-to-school assortment for kids and teens. In designing the accessible collections, the Pottery Barn Kids and Pottery Barn Teen design teams gathered input from children and teens who use mobility devices, their parents, and caregivers to give best-selling backpacks now easy-grab zipper pulls and access ports that accommodate tubes and cables, and desk designs which have wheelchair-compatible dimensions with pull-out drawers for increased accessibility.


Depending on your vision, mobility, and dexterity, many in the disability community need help with things like makeup or personal care routines. Counting Selma Blair (who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2018) as its chief creative officer, Guide Beauty is one of a handful of emerging companies pioneering the concept of universal design in the beauty space, meaning products are made to specific design principles that ensure they can be used by anyone, regardless of their physical ability.


In another step in the lingerie retailer's “for everyone” rebranding, Victoria’s Secret announced that it would introduce its first adaptive collection, including bras and panties that are part of the company’s Victoria’s Secret and PINK lines. The adaptive products include magnetic closures so that they can be put on and taken off more easily, and they have received the Gamut Seal of Approval, meaning that the garments have met certain requirements established by disability experts.