ASOS praised for designing clothes with wheelchair users in mind
‘Seeing disabled people in the media is so important as it challenges the stigma around disabilities'
Chloe Ball-Hopkins, a Paralympic athlete for Team GB and reporter for BBC Bristol Sport, revealed yesterday that she’d collaborated with the retailer to create a waterproof jumpsuit that’s wheelchair-friendly.
The tie-dye one-piece, which costs £50, is fully waterproof and has been designed with an adjustable hood, a longer hem at the back and soft jersey lining on the inside.
Many have commended Asos for being more considerate of people with disabilities than other fashion brands.
“Shopping is something most of us take for granted in terms of representation,” one person wrote on Twitter.
“Seeing disabled people in the media through campaigns, as actors, singers is so important as it challenges the stigma around disabilities.”
The shopping site has been praised for providing an example of “diversity without tokenism” for photographing Ball-Hopkins in a typical modelling setting as opposed to a “special one-off to gain attention”.
While the jumpsuit is currently the only item of clothing on the site that’s been produced especially for people who use wheelchairs, Ball-Hopkins has hinted that more could soon be on the way.
“So over the last several months I have been working with @Asos to create a fashionable, yet practical waterproof all in one. Not just for people like me in a chair but for anyone,” she wrote on Twitter.
“It’s about making fashion accessible! So what should be next?!”
This isn’t the first time Asos has received recognition for its efforts to be more diverse and representative.
Sophie Bradbury-Cox, a 30-year-old blogger who has spinal muscular atrophy type three, has made it her aim to inspire other people with disabilities to enjoy fashion to the full.
“I started my Instagram account because I wanted to show other disabled people that you can be sitting in a wheelchair and still have your own sense of style,” she told The Independent.