Proving that they are a champion for inclusivity, major retail brand Target is now offering adaptive Halloween costumes dedicated to children with special needs.
The company has released these sensory-friendly costumes in conjunction with Hyde and Eek! Boutique. They come in four styles, two of which are for children who use wheelchairs.
The Princess Carriage costume retails for $45 and features two decorated panels in the colors gray, white and purple. It can be easily attached to the sides of a wheelchair using “the hook-and-loop closures for a secure fit,” according to the product description at target.com. The princess costume itself is sold separately and costs $20.
The second wheelchair-adaptive costume is for kids who’d like to sail the seas as a pirate! The $45 ensemble includes two chair panels and ocean-patterned wheel covers that go perfectly with the adaptive pirate outfit, retailing for $25.
The other two costumes – a shark and a unicorn – are both plush and include “flat seams and no tags for an ultra-comfy feel,” as Target describes. Both have detachable parts as well as hidden openings for ease of use and comfort.
Two years ago, Target also released Pillowfort sensory-friendly home items and Cat & Jack sensory-friendly clothing pieces, which mix children’s fashion with function.
After the adaptive pieces were launched, Target designer Stacey Monsen opened up about how Elinor, her 7-year-old daughter who has autism, helped inspire the idea.
“I have a 7-year-old daughter, Elinor, who has autism. She’s not potty-trained, which means finding clothes that fit is a challenge. For pants or shorts, I either size way up, or buy pieces that are all function, no style. I’ve met lots of other parents who face similar challenges, including many of our guests and team members,” she revealed.
“After talking with some of my internal design colleagues I thought, why not create pieces that address some of these problems? So we formed a volunteer team outside our normal roles, and began to research and build our proposal,” Stacey added.
Their research led to them to discover that sensory-friendly apparel could mean different things for different people. They began removing tags and embellishments that can irritate the skin from their core tees and leggings. They also added more ease through the hip and adjusted their leggings to have a higher rise so that it would fit older children who wear diapers.
What a great step from Target! Hopefully, more major retail brands will follow their lead in developing adaptive apparel for kids with special needs.