Importance of adaptive clothing in the world of fashion
The world is a diverse place and there is space in it for everyone. Historically, it was seen that the space for people with disability in the world of fashion was somewhat restricted, with adaptive clothing either not available or made in shabby, shapeless cuts. As the world got more sensitive, the fashion world came through with the help of assistive technology. Inclusive wear is now a global reality and a fashionable one.
Adaptive clothing makes getting dressed and staying in the garments easy for people with a diverse range of needs. The community for people with disability is very wide and therefore designers must prioritise comfort and convenience over almost anything else for this genre of clothing. Thanks to technology and assistance from members of their target market, inclusive designers are now able to not only make functional clothes for the wearer; but also help their personality shine through their clothes.
Fashion in Dhaka is slowly but surely waking up to this reality as well. An architect by profession, and an up-and-coming designer, Tania Afroz started a Facebook page named Tontu and posted pictures of a toilet-friendly, gender-neutral flight suit she had designed. A customer saw potential in the attire for her special need and requested some changes. Nips and tucks later, an inclusive garment was born.
"If we can have an open mindset to offer more adaptability in clothing, with regards to the specially-abled, the aged, the gender-fluid, etc., we can arm people more to show up as they are, wear their character and express themselves more fearlessly," says Tania.
Tontu is still in its experimental phase. The brand is already showing promise, especially for a section of people who have only worn functional clothing until now, without getting a taste of real fashion. Simply by getting the ball rolling, Tontu has brought to the limelight an entirely untapped market segment that will hopefully gain the traction it deserves in Bangladesh.
As Tania says, "It's not about adaptive clothing; it's about an adaptive mindset. If we can ensure it, everything will fall in place, eventually!"