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Open Style Lab

Funder: Craig H Neilsen Foundation

Funding period
USD 100 K
Funding amount
The Parsons Open Style Lab aims to partner with H&M for a yearlong course (Fall 2019-Spring 2020), leading into Open Style Lab’s summer incubator program. The goal of this project is to forge an initial case study example for retail partnerships on not only the lack of accessible apparel for people with disabilities, but creating the opportunities for systemic change via inclusion and sustainability. Accessible clothing for individuals with SCI is a great need—for the workplace, reintegration into the general population, and from a psychosocial perspective. Wearable solutions like adaptive clothing or wearable technology make a greater degree of social inclusion possible for the disability population. But the lack of education about the dressing challenges of people with disabilities is apparent since discussion around disability rights rarely coincides with the sphere of fashion despite its impact on daily life. There is opportunity for fast fashion retailers to donate excess clothes to people with disabilities, who face price barriers in affording adaptive clothing. By engaging with disability collaborators and retail employees, the project works with one the nation’s leading design school students at the BFA Fashion program, which already has a history of social impact and sustainability. The project will create a resource manual as a case study model that can be scaled for other retail industries to further replicate learning tools on how to approach disability and inclusion through fashion design. Open Style Lab’s commitment and efforts to bridging industry with disability communities (inclusive of SCI/D) through design and employment will be greatly amplified when collaborating with the School of Fashion at Parsons School of Design. (CHN: COandI chn:wdg)
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    1503 Business and Management

  • Health Research Areas

    Population & Society