People with significant disabilities currently do not have the freedom nor the ability to choose from an extensive wardrobe, regardless of how much money they may have. Well-designed and well-fitting clothing is a lifestyle issue and an employment issue as well as a health issue. Currently, the garment and fashion industry is doing very little to respond to the clothing needs and wishes of people with disabilities and their families and caregivers.
To launch on the 2010 International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Fashion Moves, Kamloops, B.C., Canada, will oversee a year-long Fashion Design Challenge: They will work with new and established fashion designers and invite them to design a garment of their choice, to provide fashionable, functional, purpose-designed fit for a disabling condition of their choice. At the same time, Fashion Moves will start to work with groups that produce fashion shows as fundraisers. During the latter part of 2011 and 2012, the group will make the Design Challenge garments available for these fashion shows. Through this project:
- a Fashion Show as a fund raiser for cancer research can have a cancer survivor who lost a leg to cancer walk the runway wearing skinny leg trousers designed for amputees;
- a fashion show as a fund raiser for a heart and stroke group will have a stroke survivor who has lost the use of one arm walk the runway wearing a fashionable winter coat that can easily be done up with a single hand;
- a fashion show for spinal cord injury will have a businessman with SCI wheel the runway wearing a business suit designed specifically for the seated posture.
The specially designed garments can be shared among a number of fashion shows throughout the year; some of these designs may also be made into paper sewing patterns for global distribution. More importantly, designers can learn of a new community to focus their design skills toward, and the adaptive clothing industry can be launched. Fashion Moves will also work with groups such as Models of Diversity in England and Australia and Sunshine Models in the U.S.A, among others.