The fashion industry may still has a long way to go when it comes to accessibility and inclusivity, and any step in the right direction is one worth celebrating. That’s precisely why the announcement that ASOS has partnered with sports reporter and para-athlete Chloe Ball-Hopkins to release a fashionable, wheelchair-friendly jumpsuit is something to get excited about.
Ball-Hopkins, who is a BBC reporter and an athlete for Great Britain’s Paralympic archery team, tweeted that she and ASOS have been collaborating for “several months” to design a jumpsuit that fits and flatters not only people who use wheelchairs but anyone else who wants to sport it, too.
The sporty tracksuit is made extra-accessible by connective zips on its detachable jacket and pants, extra length on the jacket’s hem, and adjustability in the sleeves and hood. It’s also fully waterproof with a colorful tie-dye print, making it perfect attire for a summer full of festivals and parties.
The importance of a major retailer offering more accessible options can’t be overstated, as many people with disabilities face a lack of not only visual representation in the fashion industry, but comfortable, thoughtful clothing options, as well. So, naturally, to have a major brand like ASOS take the initiative to understand the unique fashion needs of their target market – in this case, paraplegics – is a big deal, to say the least. Hopefully, the wide release of this product is a sign that major retailers are becoming more inclusive, and that stylish designs we love will soon be accessible to everyone.
The jumpsuit is currently being sold on ASOS’s website for $64.