In response to the unique need for adaptive clothing for people with disabilities, Kohl’s has introduced sensory-friendly and adaptive clothing to its three largest brands, SO, Jumping Beans and Urban Pipeline.
“When the product design team introduced the idea to our partners, everyone felt a personal connection to this cause,” stated Stephanie Curtis, associate product manager for girls sportswear in an official statement. “It's a heartstring project, and enthusiasm to make it happen was really easy to come by.”
With adaptive options ranging in sizes from baby to juniors and young men, Kohl’s offers the same styles, graphics and fabrics as their current lines while including features such as wheelchair and sensory friendly options and abdominal access. Kohl’s designers took into consideration the best ways to ensure the adaptive products are as inclusive as possible, with the goal of helping instill confidence in the customers who wear them.
“Just because we are creating clothing for unique needs doesn't mean that it needs to be basic,” said Kara Smoltich, associate product manager for Jumping Beans. “We have made every effort to ensure that the product looks as close to our core line as possible. Everything from graphic artwork to pocket detail is reflective of the brand.”
A group of Kohl’s associate parents whose families include someone with a disability or complex medical needs was formed to help members of Kohl’s product development and technical design teams understand the unique needs of the user and caregiver when it comes to functionality and comfort while dressing.
“We aligned on what needed to be considered when fitting, such as how a pant fits when sitting down, could the pockets still be used, is the shirt long enough to cover in the back, and so forth. Everyone involved was extremely thoughtful as to how the product would be used,” said Judy Koepsel, technical design manager for kids and mother of a three-year-old daughter with unique developmental and sensory needs, in a statement. “I was truly impressed by the level of dedication and thoughtfulness the team put into this project.”
Examples of adaptive clothing conveniences and comfort features include velcro or magnetic closures instead of buttons, strategically placed openings for medical ports and gastronomy feeding tubes and seamless or softer material for sensory sensitive wearers. The new clothing options can be found online at Kohls.com.