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4th December 2018, London

Fashion disability champion set to open industry doors

The champion will use their status to highlight the need for more inclusive clothing ranges.On International Day of Persons with Disabilities the UK Government has announced that it will be recruiting a new fashion disability champion to help tackle the issues disabled people face as consumers.

The champion will use their influential status as a leader in the fashion industry to highlight the need for more inclusive clothing ranges and promote the work of designers in this field.

Clothing that takes disabled people’s needs into account can be difficult to find, and many fashion retailers are missing out on the custom of a fifth of the population who have a disability or long-term health condition. The new champion will join the existing 14 champions who are already driving improvements to the accessibility of services and facilities in a range of sectors, including banking, music and tourism.

“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,” said Sarah Newton, Minister for Disabled People Health and Work.

“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.”

The existing champions have already made significant progress in breaking down the barriers faced by disabled consumers. For example, Johnny Timpson is the disability champion for the insurance industry and Industry Affairs Manager at Scottish Widows. “Walking the talk on diversity is essential for the insurance sector, and my champion role enables me to work with the industry to improve access to affordable insurance for disabled consumers,” he said. “Becoming a champion has allowed me to bring key players to the table to agree on a clear set of actions for making the insurance industry more inclusive.”

The disability champions are one of the ways the Government is ensuring that disabled people can participate fully in society. A whole range of support is on offer to support those disabled people who want to work to find a job that is right for them.

Further reading

Clothing for all abilities

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