- Kohl’s is expanding its adaptive merchandise assortment with the launch of adaptive products for adults, the department store said Monday. The collection was designed in partnership with Gamut Management, a consulting and talent management company for people with disabilities, per a company press release.
- The items are available via Kohl’s website and include women’s adaptive products from private-label brands Sonoma Goods for Life, Tek Gear and SO, while the men’s products are from the Sonoma Goods for Life and Tek Gear labels, as well as Tommy Hilfiger.
- Kohl’s already offers adaptive products for kids, including apparel from its Jumping Beans, Tek Gear, SO and Sonoma Goods for Life labels and toys from brands including Helping Hands Fine Motor Tool Set Toy and Foxmind Go Pop! Roundo. The retailer has also partnered with Billy Footwear and Stride Rite, “offering mainstream shoes that are functional, fashionable, and inclusive for everyone,” per its release.
Kohl’s joins other retailers and brands in embracing the design and technology that allow people with disabilities to dress, work and play with more ease, thanks to innovations in clothing and other products.
The retailer teamed with Gamut Management to host focus groups with people with disabilities, which informed Kohl's designs, per the release. Pieces were developed for ease of dressing and greater functionality, including wider necklines, plackets at shoulder seams, functional leg openings and waistline adjustability for seated comfort.
Such efforts likely reflect pressure for companies to be more inclusive, and Kohl’s in its release said the initiative helps further its “diversity, equity and inclusion goal to offer more relevant products that help more customers see themselves reflected and represented in Kohl’s brands.”
But they also represent a sales opportunity, as the adaptive apparel market could top $400 billion by 2027, according to Runway of Dreams, an organization focused on adaptive fashion. Kohl’s, Target, Zappos, J.C. Penney, Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive, No Limbits and Stride Rite have featured their adaptive clothing in Runway of Dreams’ fashion shows.
“In America, more than 41 million people live with a disability, and yet people with disabilities have historically had limited-access to fashionable and functional apparel that meets their individual needs," Michelle Banks, Kohl’s chief diversity and inclusion officer, said in a statement. “By listening to customers across the country, Kohl’s innovative design team was able to create new apparel that provides new options for adults with disabilities and we look forward to continuing to expand in this market to address the growing needs of our customers.”
While adaptive toys are available both online and in stores, all Kohl’s adaptive apparel is available only online, a company spokesperson said by email.