Inclusive Fashion - creating better communities

Providing an inclusive environment in our classrooms require celebrating our differences and respecting each other’s ideas. It provides a happy place for our students to be themselves, to be creative, to voice their choice and learn how to express their ideas through fashion, toys or products.

For years, the fashion industry catered solely to an idealized and unrealistic standard of fashion -  it meant a limited range of options for body types, skin colors, hair textures and physical aptitude. This naturally meant not everyone was included. Our communities, both local and worldwide, consist of all sorts of people of all shapes and sizes with defining characteristics that make them unique, and beautiful. We are excited that the fashion industry has begun to take notice and appreciate the amazing diversity and in the process uniting communities through fashion.

Designers and Retailers take the lead

Photo Credit: Target Corporate - A Bullseye View

Photo Credit: Target Corporate - A Bullseye View

From high end fashion designers to our neighborhood store, Tar-Zhay, its hard to miss the trend. Target is making huge efforts in reaching customers in a way that’s inclusive – from including models of various body types and age to gender-neutral and sensory-sensitive products. Promoting swimsuits modeled in a range of body types and ethnicity without retouching of photos to alter stretchmarks, skin tone or edit body parts sends a strong message.  Offering brands like Toca Boca, which sells gender-neutral clothing for children and launching Cat & Jack, to cater to kids with disabilities not only encourages sales but also acknowledges the human differences in a big way.

Bold and Innovative fashion designer Talia Goldfarb, has developed a line of Myself Belts for children with disabilities, making it easy to unfasten and fasten them with one hand. Shannon Angersbach, a neonatal intensive care nurse, has created Greta Grace Garb to address clothing challenges of children requiring feeding tubes.

 
 
Photo Credit: Nike.com

Photo Credit: Nike.com

It is encouraging to see bigger names like Nike making the plunge, unveiling one of their newest products: a sports hijab (head-wear worn by Muslim women).

This is what the first American-Muslim Woman Pro fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad had to say about the Nike Hijab –

“The Nike Pro Hijab will help advance the conversation around hijabs and Muslim women in sports and further make sports an inclusive space.” -Ibtihaj Muhammad

The hijab was a groundbreaking reveal for the large active wear company. Prior to this many Muslim women, including Muhammad herself, were required to fashion their own sports hijabs out of non-breathable, tight fabrics. This is a major move for Nike and the world of fashion. We hope they continue to make and revolutionize their products for a more inclusive and better world.

 
 

DesignX Embraces Inclusivity

Inclusivity and respect for each other’s ideas is core to what we teach and learn in our classrooms. From Fashion to Product Design, each program encourages students to think about their culture, travels and interests, to bring out their unique voice. More importantly, they share their learnings and challenges in a way, that models and encourages empathy and compassion. DesignX has grown to be the community’s leader in high quality design programs that spark creativity, a sense of belonging and a love of design among kids and teens.

‘Piano’ skirt designed by a middle school student

‘Piano’ skirt designed by a middle school student

 
Durga Kalavagunta