Lifestyle & Parenting

This Brand Founder Is Leading The Way For Inclusive Fashion

February 5, 2024

Established in 2009 by designer Izzy Camilleri, IZ Adaptive was born from a mission to address clothing challenges faced by individuals with physical disabilities. Pioneering the adaptive clothing category, IZ offers stylish, functional pieces inspired by real experiences and insights. From modern basics to groundbreaking innovations like the Seamless Back Pant, IZ Adaptive continues to lead with global impact, earning recognition from media, museums, and educational institutions. Embracing growth and innovation, IZ Adaptive remains at the forefront of accessible fashion. We chatted with Izzy to learn more. —Noa Nichol

When and why did you launch IZ Adaptive? What niche were/are you aiming to fill?

Iz Adaptive launched in 2009.  In 2005, I began doing custom work for a wheelchair user who was paralyzed, and this opened my eyes to a lack of options for people that live with a physical disability.  The niche I was aiming to fill was stylish and functional clothing for people who live with a physical disability, specializing in wheelchair users.

What products/services do you currently offer, and what makes them not only unique, but also trail-blazing?

I offer a line of clothing that provides both style and function for people who need clothes that not only look good but are safer and easier to wear. Our Game Changer collection of pants has a patented design which is seamless at the back, reducing the risk of life-threatening pressure sores.  Until now, a pant like this has not been available.

When it comes to clothing for those living with physical disabilities, what are some design elements to consider?

Some elements include easier closures such as magnets, fabric considerations such as fabric with stretch for comfort, and clothing designed for seated frames.

How did clients inform your Game Changer collection, which includes a seamless-back pant? Do you continue to look to your customers to shape your designs? What about input from healthcare pros?

For years, people reached out to me for a seamless back pant, but technically, I couldn’t see how it was possible.  During the very beginning of COVID-19, I had the time to wrap my head around itand come up with a solution. I consulted people who had pressure sores as well as Occupational Therapists to ensure I was on the right track.  I am always listening and learning to better serve my clients.

Can you tell us about challenges you face regarding the affordability and quality/durability of such clothing? How are you managing/mitigating this in your line?

The challenges are many.  This demographic is quite fragmented, so marketing has its challenges. As a small company, production costs are high, whichis reflected in the price of the pieces. Now, with new partners, we are able to adjust our prices to more favourable oneswithout compromising quality.

Why is a clothing brand like yours necessary and needed today?

It has always been needed and necessary, but finding a solution that would work for the majority was the challenge. Finding a common thread for this fragmented group of people was what needed to happen. People living with a disability have always had challenges with clothing and dressing.  People want to feel included and independent, among many other feelings which clothing offers. This type of clothing offers that and so much more.

What’s coming up for you next?

I hope to continue to expand my offering to include other products such as adaptive shoes, lingerie, accessories and a children’s line.


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