Women with disabilities who’re educated tailors, participated within the launch of the design initiative, at Vidya Sagar in Chennai on March 7, 2023 | Photo Credit: B. VELANKANNI RAJ
S. Gajalakshmi breaks right into a smile when she is requested how she stitched the designer shirt she is sporting. “The designs on the sleeves, with the particular embroidery and work have been conceived by me. I stroll with the help of a crutch, so I needed to preserve this in thoughts and tailor the garment in order that it might be comfy for me,” she said.
Exploring the integration of art, design and accessibility, SciArtRUs, a California-based not-for-profit’s initiative ‘Project DesignAbility’ aims to spotlight such designer outfitting, outfits that are not just fashionable but also accessible and adaptive. Marking the launch of the initiative, SciArtRUs partnered with Chennai-based tailoring and designing unit Vidhya’s Comfort Design and sewed 100 designer blouses, which were given to members of the Society for the Rights of Women with Disabilities (SFRD).
, Video Credit: B. Velankanni Raj
“While we were keen on showcasing artistic and designer sewing, the focus, we realized, should also be on how we can make it accessible and adaptable for women. All seamstresses and tailors globally should be introduced to making accessible clothing,” mentioned Ranjini Kaushik, president, SciArtRUs.
The ladies members who acquired the designer blouses met at Vidya Sagar, an organisaton that works with individuals with disabilities in Kotturpuram on Tuesday, forward of International Women’s Day, making it a singular celebration. R. Nagalakshmi, a make-up artist who can be disabled, labored together with her workforce and supplied make-up providers freed from value.
B. Divya, from Vidhya’s Comfort Design mentioned that that they had taken under consideration the requests made by them for accessible and adaptive options to be included within the clothes. “We have not made such blouses or garments before and it was a learning opportunity for us as well, to tailor accessible clothes. We are ready to make any adaptations needed for persons with disabilities, going forward,” she mentioned. Among the variations have been changing hooks or zips with velcro strips and altering up the sleeve patterns to simply placed on the garment.
While Gajalakshmi had made her personal designer shirt, the bigger focus of the challenge was to upskill many different ladies to do the identical. Speaking about Project DesignCapability, Smitha Sadasivam, cross incapacity inclusion and accessibility facilitator mentioned that they have been in search of help to upskill the 100 ladies members of the SFRWD and allow them to make designer clothes reminiscent of designer blouses. “These women are already trained in basic tailoring and once they are trained, they can offer designer garment stitching services and earn a steady livelihood,” she mentioned.
While establishments just like the National Institute of Fashion Technology have been exploring accessible style for a few years now, extra initiatives are nonetheless on the margins and are remoted, mentioned Poonam Natarajan, founder Vidya Sagar.
“Accessible and adaptive clothing is important for independence. When these women are trained, they can wear fashionable and accessible clothes themselves, as well as use their designer skills for a livelihood,” she added.