"Keeping the promise: Mainstreaming disability in the Millennium Development Goals towards 2015 and beyond"
I am pleased to share with you, a major activity that will be organized by Fashion Moves. One of the most common 'tools' for fitting into any given group or situation is the clothing you wear. 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. Why? At the moment the Fashion / Garment industry is doing very little to respond to the clothing needs and wishes of People with disabilities and their families and caregivers. Fashion Moves is working to change this.
To launch on the 2010 International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Fashion Moves will oversee a year long Fashion Design Challenge. We 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, we 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 their 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 possibilities go on. The specially designed garments can be shared amongst a number of Fashion Shows throughout the year and these good will support groups can start to assist on a new plain. Some of these designs may also be made into paper sewing patterns for global distribution. More importantly Fashion Designers will learn of a new, vibrant community to focus their design skills toward and the Adaptive Clothing Industry can truly be launched. We will also work with groups such as Models of Diversity in England and Australia (http://www.modelsofdiversity.org/ ) and Sunshine Models in the U.S,A, (http://www.sunshineprojecthelp.com/ ) and others.
Well designed and well fitting clothing is a lifestyle issue and an employment issue as well as a health issue. The ability to feel good about how you look not only affects the individual's activities and emotional health but also those of the people closest to them at home and at work.
We are pleased to have an opportunity to work with the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
Ruth J Clark
859 Battle Street, Kamloops, B.C. Canada V2C 2M7