Popular online clothing retailer ASOS has taken a huge step toward inclusivity by designing a waterproof jumpsuit that everyone can wear, including people who use wheelchairs.
The jumpsuit was designed in collaboration with Chloe Ball-Hopkins, a sports reporter for BBC Bristol who uses a wheelchair due to muscular dystrophy. She is an accomplished athlete and is training to compete in the Tokyo 2020 Summer Paralympics.
Her rainbow-colored jumpsuit being marketed as the perfect one-piece outfit for summer festival season. Ball-Hopkins also modeled the piece for ASOS on their website:
So over the last several months I have been working with @ASOS to create a fashionable, yet practical waterproof all in one! Not just for people like me in a chair but for anyone. It's about making fashion accessible! So what should be next?! https://t.co/1gzzkRlED9 pic.twitter.com/7yS57QEmpD
— Chloe Ball-Hopkins 🐝 (@chloe_ballhopzy) July 4, 2018
The colorful tie-dye jumpsuit ($64) features a zip around the waist so it’s easy to take on and off and can be worn as two separate pieces as well. The jumpsuit also has a waterproof pocket on the breast, perfect for storing essentials like your phone, money or medication. It is available in sizes 0 to 14.
Ball-Hopkins came up with the concept after getting soaked in the rain while attending Splendour Festival in Nottingham, England last year. If she wore a poncho, that would make it difficult to wheel, as would using an umbrella. The jumpsuit offers a convenient solution and is stylish to boot.
“To see the final product I can’t believe that we actually worked in conjunction so much,” the athlete told BBC. “I thought maybe they’d take it and run with it. You get the same version whether it’s you or I buying it — that’s the point. It is exactly the same for me as it is for you.”
Ball-Hopkins said that adding in small features that make clothing a little more accessible for people with disabilities is not difficult for manufacturers to do, but they really make a difference for the consumers who need them.
ASOS is not the only brand that is taking the step toward inclusivity for customers. Many more are offering plus sizes, some are targeted to kids with sensory issues and there’s even more gender-neutral clothes for little ones. Today’s fashion brands are rising to the occasion to meet customers’ demands.
Kudos to ASOS for offering clothing that’s truly accessible for everyone, and here’s hoping that even more brands in the fashion industry will follow suit!