INTRODUCING: The Inclusive Design & Fashion Collective!!

Posted on November 19, 2015

Chapter 1: My Story

I started this blog back in 2013. You may already know my story and how I awoke one Sunday, falling out of bed and into the hospital. That was the day I discovered that my ugly hospital gifted cane was called an “assistive device”. That term was new to me. Also new to me? My inability to find a cane that felt like ‘me’ even though I was able to find the perfect pair of eyeglasses. This lack of choice and lack of thoughtful design means many people don’t use the products they need because they are stigmatizing. Falls lead to more preventable deaths than you may know

I’m a young, fashion conscious New Yorker who has accomplished many things while being disabled (many of my accomplishments are because I’m disabled). And it seems so obvious that I should want a beautiful and functional cane that reflects my personality and aesthetic. Quickly after starting my blog, I decided I would do everything I could to de-stigmatize assistive devices. I wanted the fashion world to include me and my disabled peers. Early on, I chose to focus on my favorite store, J. Crew. I have spent the last three years asking them to sell a beautiful cane because they often feature and sell eyeglasses. J. Crew has been nothing but unresponsive to my idea. But amazingly, I have found people who are incredibly responsive, because they themselves are also trying to de-stigmatize the products and fashions people with disabilities request and require.

Chapter 2: The IDFC

We are the Inclusive Design and Fashion Collective.

  • We are a small group of companies who design, manufacture, sell, and advocate for accessible, fashionable clothing and accessories.
  • We are creating a not-for-profit trade association and affiliated charity.
  • We are a proactive advocacy group that creates and promotes accessible fashion for everyone.
  • We do this because the way you feel about yourself and the day ahead is depends on whether you can dress yourself in something you love.
  • We are the future of fashion. Fashion for all.

From day one, we have been humbled and inspired by supporters eager to get involved. First, our wonderful attorney has a background in fashion law and non-profit structures. He is working with us at a very low fee with a deposit of $2500, which we have raised in membership fees and donations. Now we need to raise an additional $7500 to complete the not-for- profit application process and create a website.

https://www.gofundme.com/theidfc

We can’t do this alone. Without you, we cannot write Chapter 3. We are asking you to give so we can support designers who want to expand fashion limitations. Will you please consider donating to help the IDFC get off the ground? Together we can build the first fashion trade association for people with disabilities.

Your donation will be retroactively tax-deductible once the IDFC has been approved for tax deductible donations. We will be updating all donors as we grow and will notify you once you can declare your deductions. If you would like to know how you can get involved, please contact us at includesigncollective@gmail.com. We would love to hear from you.

To support, please click on the GoFundMe image:

gofundme

Thank you.

Liz Jackson — The Girl with the Purple Cane

Anne Byrnes — StepIn2Now

Ben Grynol — Top & Derby

Karen Bowersox — Downs Designs Dreams

Lori Faulkner — Fashion Studies Chair of Kendall College of Art & Design of Ferris State University

Margaret Federoff — Healing Threads

Maura Horton — MagnaReady

Mindy Scheier — Runway of Dreams

Stephanie Alves — ABL Denim

What Others Are Saying

  1. stephen gilson January 5, 2016 at 12:57 am

    Liz-
    I came across your work writing recently and am very interested in the ideas that you have presented. Liz DePoy and I have been working/writing in the area of designing and branding/re-designing disability

    (DePoy, E., & Gilson, S.F. (2014). Branding and designing disability. Abingdon, Oxon, UK: Routledge.
    DePoy, E., & Gilson, S.F. (2013). Disability design and branding: Rethinking disability within the 21st Century. In L. J. Davis (Ed.), The Disability Studies Reader (4th ed.). New York, NY: Taylor & Francis/Routledge.)

    Much of our current work involves taking theory and conceptualization to aesthetically conceived non-stigmatizing product design and development – as example please see
    https://umaine.edu/news/blog/2015/12/11/researchers-awarded-225000-for-testing-commercialization-of-mobility-aid/

    I would enjoy hearing/reading more about your work
    regards
    stephen

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