Two Malaysians design ‘magnetic’ clothing for people with disabilities
Special needs model wearing Dawn Adaptive clothing. (Photo by Dawn Adaptive)

PETALING JAYA: Most people take buttons and zippers for granted. You button your shirt in the morning and unbutton it in the evening without thinking.

But for people with disabilities, buttons and zippers can be a major hurdle to living independently.

A woman whose daughter has a disability and a woman with a disability herself have joined forces to create affordable adaptations for people with disabilities in Malaysia who struggle to find comfortable and fashionable clothing. I created a clothing line.

Usha G. Nehru’s daughter, Ivanna, has cerebral palsy, and it pained her to see her struggling to button her blouse every day.

Meanwhile, 22-year-old Bernard Benzamine Nathan was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) type 3 when he was two years old. Bernard struggles to get dressed because SMA is an incurable muscle disease that causes muscle weakness and degeneration over time.

Thus, Dawn Adaptive, Malaysia’s first adaptive clothing brand, was born. But what is adaptive clothing?

Dawn Adaptive Magnetic Polo T-Shirt. (Photo by Dawn Adaptive)

Adaptive clothing, which is more accessible to people with disabilities, is designed for people who have difficulty dressing themselves because they are unable to operate fasteners such as buttons or zippers, or who do not have sufficient range of motion to dress themselves. .

“Adaptive clothing is unfamiliar to Malaysians because there are very few brands that have adaptive clothing lines and most able-bodied people do not know the need for such clothing.” Bernard says.

He said adaptive clothing is expensive here, with imported items costing a whopping RM200 to RM500, far more than the average Malaysian’s income.

“We wanted to make Dawn Adaptive affordable. Our concept is to produce adaptive clothing in large quantities and sell it at a more affordable price.”

The first product, the Magnetic Polo T-shirt, retails for RM89.90. There are useful features such as magnetic buttons to make changing clothes easier, and the label is conveniently placed under the armpit of the shirt rather than behind the collar to prevent discomfort, especially for people with autism.

With buttons on the outside of the shirt, no one will notice that it is an adaptive garment.

The magnets are sewn into the inside of the shirt, so just swipe them together. (Photo by Dawn Adaptive)

Since launching the brand on June 14, Dawn Adaptive has sold nearly 100 magnetic polo T-shirts.

Bernard is happy with the response, but hopes more Malaysians will learn about the brand. “The purpose of this business is to make adaptive clothing the norm, not a privilege.”

The company also sells adaptive wear to people without disabilities. This is because we think it will save you time when dressing up.

“All of our promotions and marketing campaigns include able-bodied models. The younger generation finds the magnetic closure of the Magnetic Polo T-shirt very cool. They feel unique when wearing the shirt. Because it gives a sense of humor and is fun to wear.”

Can also be worn by healthy people. (Photo by Dawn Adaptive)

Dawn Adaptive also aims to create opportunities for economically disadvantaged groups, such as people with disabilities, by making them part of the company’s growth.

For example, the company’s logo was created by Loga Rajah, a talented graphic designer with low mobility.

“In the future, we will prioritize people with disabilities in employment opportunities in everything we do. If we open a store in the future, we will hire people with disabilities first.

“We are already providing opportunities for people with disabilities and their parents through our dropship business, paying a fee,” Bernard said.

After just two months in business, Dawn Adaptive has received many requests for child-sized adaptive clothing and pants with adaptive features.

“We haven’t made any decisions yet, but we are considering one of these requests for our next collection,” Barnard said.

Visit Dawn Adaptive here.

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