Inclusive Clothing was envisioned earlier this year when I was fighting an internal struggle of what my plan was after I graduate from university in May. I was feeling a ton of mixed emotions regarding the completion of my degree from the Bachelor of Education program. As of May, I will begin my journey as an educator and step into the field of teaching. Do I want to be a teacher? Do I love what I am doing? Can I do more to help the community that means so much to me? These questions were rushing through my mind. I began assessing my entire being. What can I offer this world? What are some things that I am passionate about? Who are the people that have inspired me along this journey? This is when I thought about my older brother, Riley, who has been an integral part of my life and a driving force in my decision to enter the Bachelor of Education program. My brother Riley was born with Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, otherwise known as PDD-NOS. Growing up with my brother has given me a unique opportunity to have a deeper respect and understanding for individuals with exceptionalities. When I reflected on my relationship with my brother, I began realizing that our world has yet to properly support and embrace all types of abilities, despite everyone deserving equal opportunities.
I began searching online for corporations who were truly supporting and celebrating the capacities of what people living with disabilities can do, but I was disappointed to find that not much had been done. I then decided to look at clothing companies to see how they were representing this community. I discovered that companies were moving in a good direction, but that there needed to be more representation of people living with disabilities in fashion and in the media in order to make it a truly inclusive space. A question that I was often asking myself was, if the fashion industry is a place that celebrates diversity, then why are there no people that look like my brother Riley? This question is how Inclusive Clothing came to fruition. I realized that I did not have any experience working in the fashion industry, but that I did have a lifetime of experience working and interacting with people who are living in this world with disabilities, and this is why I felt confident in my ability to start my own company and be an advocate for a community that is so dear to my heart.
Founder of Inclusive Clothing