There are a lot of things we take for granted in the fashion and beauty industry, whether we acknowledge our privilege or not. Some of us are able to afford sustainable brands, minimizing our carbon footprint in the world, while some rely on fast fashion due to circumstances that are out of their control. Some of us have an easier time finding products that work well with our skin type. But one group of people have been left out of the fashion and beauty narrative for a while— those with physical disabilities.
Viral TikTok sensation, 31-year-old, Bonnie (@bonniedoes on TikTok) is changing this narrative. In her videos, she is transparent about her struggles as a disabled person and her journey with fashion that allows her to express herself with her clothing. Her fashion content revolves around her walking aid and how she is able to make it a part of her final look. She is candid about her struggles and constantly uses her platform to boost awareness for the disabled bodied. Her content directs her mostly able-bodied audience to reflect on the everyday fashion items that they take for granted.
We at StyldLife were inspired by Bonnie’s passion and creativity. We decided to do our own research into different fashion brands that are actively working to make their line as inclusive for everybody, specifically those who are not able-bodied. Here are some brands that adhere to their promise of inclusivity and clinician-approved:
Friendly Shoes is a shoe brand for amputees based in San Diego, CA. This brand was launched by a licensed occupational therapist that sells adaptive footwear for all ages. Their shoes addressed concerns that most footwear companies don’t take into consideration. They offer a wide range of shoes that are Parkinsons-friendly, child-friendly, and some with biomechanical zippers for easy wear. Friendly Shoes also participates in philanthropic efforts by donating pairs of shoes to disabled veterans in San Diego.
Since its founding in 2014, Care + Wear has changed the fashion game by combining style and function in their items. They have teamed up with well known designers like Oscar de la Rente and Lucy Jones to create patient-centered designs that include chest-port access clothing, NICU bodysuits, wheelchair cloves, recovery bras, amongst other things. Care + Wear also donates 10% of profits to various non-profit organizations.
Gracie Benedith-Canes is the mother to her legally blind son. She was inspired to make this brand after watching her son struggle to get ready in the morning. Braille Code Brands, a brand based in Brooklyn, NY, has patches that can be sewn on each item of clothing that allows people to read the braille embedded in the patches to see how it’s worn. It inspires people who are visually impaired to foster independence and confidence.
The market for clothing and fashion for the disable-bodied is very limited, but seeing these brands pioneer this movement for inclusivity is something we want to highlight here at StyldLife. Fashion is fun and it’s for everyone to enjoy! With influencers like Bonnie and brands like these, we’re heading in the right direction for fashion to be as inclusive as possible. Be sure to book your virtual appointment with our celebrity stylists here at StyldLife to see how you can style these pieces and feel confident in your look!