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Does fashion care about disabled people and the purple pound?

Britain’s disabled population has a spending power of £80bn, yet, as a frustrating shopping trip to Mayfair proved, many clothes shops are completely inaccessible

Kelly Knox modelling Teatum Jones AW17Catherine Teatum and Rob Jones have a positive understanding of practical issues affecting disabled shoppers.

Britain’s disabled population has a spending power of £80bn, yet, as a frustrating shopping trip to Mayfair proved, many clothes shops are completely inaccessible

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Since childhood, fashion has always given me joy. It has allowed me to present myself to the world as the person I am and strive to be, irrespective of the physical limitations of my disability. But in the five years since severe illness forced me to use a mobility scooter to get around, online retailers have become my primary access to new trends, owing to poor accessibility on my local high street. Recently, I heard about a disability charity’s campaign to improve shop access and wondered whether navigating luxury fashion stores on four wheels would be any less challenging. It seemed logical that designer labels, which often shell out millions to create opulent showrooms, would invest in basic equipment for access. So I ventured into Mayfair – one of London’s most expensive areas to shop – to explore the AW17 collections up close.

From the moment I rode out on to New Bond Street, I was beset by obstacles. It started with attempting to enter a designer store with a stepped entrance, then performing a red-faced U-turn outside because sales staff couldn’t provide a ramp.

As I continued around Mayfair, I discovered boutique after boutique with stepped entrances and no access ramps. Often staff delivered this information with an expression of bewilderment as to why anyone would require one, and nearly half of the shops I visited said they didn’t have lifts to access upper floors.

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: Does fashion care about disabled people and the purple pound? | Global | The Guardian