LONDON – The British Government has announced its plan to recruit a Fashion Disability Champion to highlight and tackle issues faced by consumers with disabilities.
The individual selected to perform the role will use their position to advise and influence the UK fashion industry on how to provide more inclusive clothing ranges, promote the work of designers in this field and ensure the ‘Purple Pound’ market potential is truly realised by UK fashion retailers.
The DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) claims that clothing which takes disabled people’s needs into account can often be difficult to find. This, it goes on to say, means that many fashion retailers are missing out on the business of around one fifth of the UK population who have a disability or long-term health condition.
The new fashion disability champion will join 14 people in similar roles, selected by government to drive improvements in the accessibility of services and facilities. These currently include industries such as arts & culture, retail and advertising.
These existing champions have, according to the DWP, already made significant progress in breaking down barriers faced by disabled consumers in these sectors.
Sarah Newton, minister for disabled people health and work, stated: “There are nearly 14 million disabled people living in the UK, and our world-leading fashion industry must ensure it is capitalising on the spending power of their households – the Purple Pound – worth £249 billion every year.
“Our new champion will promote the commercial benefits of inclusive design which can improve brand loyalty in a highly competitive market, while also ensuring that disabled people can follow the latest trends like everyone else.”