Inclusive fashion research
Research and development is a fundamental pillar of our company. The results are transformed into products and new services for organisations, thus expanding our field of work and increasing our impact on society.
Thanks to the perseverance and the desire to improve and innovate, we manage to be pioneers in the accessibility of fashion. We are always exploring the opportunities offered by new technologies, using creativity to solve the needs of the user, who, as usually, is at the centre of our research.
1- Research of needs of people with disabilities and fashion
2- Inclusive Fashion Programme for Designers and Companies
3- Definition of Fashion Accessibility Standards
5- Book: Designing cities for all
Since 2011 we have managed to innovate inclusive garments with a pioneering sustainability strategy, which has won several awards.
We have developed our own method for training designers and fashion brands in clothing accessibility.
We achieved a dream, to adapt sewing machines so people with different abilities could use them, and provide employment opportunities.
Research of the needs of people with disabilities and fashion
The first research was between 2011 and 2014, focusing on the needs of people with functional diversity and clothing.
Dressing and undressing is a basic activity of everyday life. For millions of people with functional diversity it represents a huge physical effort. Tasks such as moving arms and legs or the coordination and dexterity needed to fasten a button are a real adventure. They require more time than usual and in most cases, a personal assistant is essential for dressing.
With this premise and the vision of facilitating daily dressing and undressing, Rut Turró began an investigation into the difficulties of dressing people with reduced mobility. “As a fashion designer I firmly believed that I could contribute my creativity to transform needs into beautiful, practical and useful products. Giving a sense and value to the profession of the Designer”.
Visits to centres specialised in some kind of disability.
Personal experience of dressing and undressing, together with users and professionals.
Conducting questionnaires online, by phone and in person. To individuals with reduced mobility, professionals and institutions.
Verify the information by carrying out interviews with professionals and end users.
To structure and classify the information. Listing of needs by groups of limitations. Selection by type of garment and design function.
Product development and testing
Creation of prototypes. Testing of the solutions. Evaluation of results.
We classify and organise the data collected to gain a better understanding of the challenges, quantify the market you are targeting, and then analyse the costs and technology required to develop new solutions. We begin a data organisation according to the Person and the Product.
1. Human Analysis
Criterion 1) Division between generic and specific needs.
The list of needs collected, there were many that were repeated continuously. We separated the list between generic needs, for all, and specific needs that belong to a particular sector, such as the use of ostomy bags.
Criterion 2) Degree of mobility.Establish a sub-group by degree of mobility of the body.
We needed a system that allowed us to establish values according to the parts of the body affected and the degree of mobility of the user. Divisions by type of disability were not useful because a person can have a limitation for different reasons. And, the same group of people affected by the same cause have different degrees of mobility.
Therefore, we innovated our own classification, which we share with users and professionals. Group description:
1st group: Complete affectation. People who can hardly move their body by themselves. They need help for most of the Basic Activities of Daily Life.
2nd group: Partial Sitting. People who are affected from waist to foot. They can button up without difficulty.
3rd group: Partial standing. People with restricted movement when walking. Sometimes they use support elements, other times their affectation of the body makes their movements asymmetric and consequently they move slower.
Criterion 3 ) Market. Quantify people by challenge, according to the degree of mobility, criterion 2
This data gives us a rough picture to evaluate the demands of users and professionals.
This data gives us a rough picture to evaluate the demands of users and professionals. Traditionally, official data from the NIE and other sources always go by type of disability and not by mobility. For example, in order to know the market of people who use wheelchairs, we must first find out which groups are sensitive to the use a wheelchair, such as multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injury, among others. Secondly, the total number of people affected by this disability and thirdly, the degree of affectation, whether slight, moderate or severe.
As a result we have the % of people who use a wheelchair.
The information has been compiled thanks to the collaboration of specialised organisations and institutional bodies in Spain.
2. Product analysis
Criterion 4) Structuring of needs by product category: clothing, accessories and shoes.
Criterion 5) Sub-categories, specific list of needs and challenges.
Garments: tops, bottoms, underwear and coats.
Accessories: Bags, belts, jewellery, among others.
Lyfestyle: Products of common use. Hangers, key rings, shoehorns, among others
Criterion 6) Technology
Technology required for the development of solutions. Analysis of costs and implementation time. Eurecat is our main technological partner where we develop prototypes and test new technologies.
81 organisations visited Full list here
+200 interviews with users and professionals
Organisation of clothing needs versus people with different abilities. 1- Generic and specific needs 2- Degree of mobility 3- Market
List of products to be redesigned and improved divided by category. 1- Clothing 2- Accessories and shoes 3- Lifestyle
Inclusive fashion programme for designers and companies
Inclusive fashion programme for designers and companies
This second research was carried out between 2015 and 2017. It is a consequence of the needs analysis carried out previously. Thanks to the participation in a support programme for start ups by Acció, the Catalan Government’s Agency for Enterprise Competitiveness, our mentors pushed us to innovate a method for transferring information to designers and companies.
We developed a training program to create inclusive clothing in the collections, without the need to make a specific line. An own method to transform knowledge into results, including accessibility from the beginning of the development of collections. Our method allows us to prepare the design team without the need to train a single person. It is a simple and practical model to implement, with visual information and knowledge always within the organisation
This is how the B2B consultancy service for companies, designers and creative studios was born.
Definition of fashion accessibility standards
The diversity of needs and people has led us to create a system to evaluate the accessibility of garments and accessories.
What should inclusive clothing look like? What parameters should we consider? What are the minimum requirements that a garment or accessory must have to be accessible? And very importantly, for whom?
Just as there are standards in architecture, developing the abc of fashion accessibility has taken us years of work. It has been a consequence of all the previous studies carried out.
We joined the previous classification made in the study 1. List of needs, we moved it to functions of dressing and finally to the corresponding design process.
Easy to dress on and undress
It fits me well
Don’t let me get rubbed or sore
And many more…
Functions of dressing
Fitting different bodies
Friction and pressure
Sensitivity + Thermal comfort
Closures and trims
What are the functionalities?
Functionalities help us to identify the field of action of a need.
We define the functions of clothing, based on the classification of generic needs.
In this way we have been able to group and classify the needs, determining the bases of the fashion accessibility. Validated by professionals from the care sector and users.
All the information to apply accessibility in fashion in our online course ©
Products and 3D printing
3D printing is a state-of-the-art technology for product development and prototype testing. It represents a great tool for customizing products, making adaptations and improving quality of life.
Some of our developments.
Book: Designing cities for all
What a thrill to be part of this book of essays as an expert on inclusive fashion #AllAbilitiesFashion
“The book contains eighteen essays by authors committed to creating cities of belonging, where everyone feels and can feel at home. These inspiring essays will help you understand how design is part of the problem, but also holds the key to the solution.”
This book is the result of the successful Designing cities for all programme at Pakhuis de Zwijger in Amsterdam. After participating as a speaker at a round table entitled “Design from Inclusion: Products and Services” in May 202, I was asked to write an article about my research and experience in Inclusive Fashion, together with other experts in Design and Inclusion.
Without a doubt this book is a foundation of #InclusiveDesign for inquiring and open minds. Highly recommended for creatives, designers, artists, governments, institutions, universities and companies that want to get into diversity and inclusion.
Improve and innovate to generate impact on humans.
Our research is registered with Intellectual Property ©.