A mother of three boys, Claudia had long been frustrated by how few options there were when it came to clothing her youngest son who is severely disabled. Christian’s disability is such that he cannot dress himself, and his needs mean he often has to wear clothes that are too large for him, or that can expand, like sweat pants or hoodies. Speaking as a mother Claudia said “I have two older sons. Why is it that they get to wear nice clothes and look good but my youngest son has to wear clothes that don’t fit properly? I don’t like that”. And she raises a good point. Practicality is important, of course, but why should it be at the expense of style and fashion?
It doesn’t have to be like that
In response to this, Claudia set out to create an entire range of clothes for disabled children and adolescents that combine the practical aspects that make daily life easier, but that also look smart and fashionable. This culminated in her creating Capr-Style, a company that manufactures and sells these clothes. In appearance they are essentially normal, smart, and fashionable clothes. But if you inspect them more closely you can find a range of discreet little alterations designed facilitate things like; getting dressed and undressed and tube feeding amongst other things. Every item of clothing produced is submitted to a rigorous quality control test to guarantee its high standard.
A few examples of Capr-Style’s wardrobe include;
The last few months have seen Claudia and her team carry out extensive research with parents and carers, but first and foremost it has been her own experience as a mother that has guided her. Whilst speaking to other parents and carers of children with disabilities, Claudia found that many of the problems and frustrations they experienced regarding clothing were very similar to her own, and she is keen to highlight the huge benefits that Capr-Style can offer, namely:
Getting the word out
The business side of things is now effectively in place and customers can now go to the Capr-Style website and order the clothes directly. Claudia was assisted along the way by Entrepreneurial Spark and even won £5000 through them to boost her endeavour. Now the word is slowly getting out through the media (Capr-Style has already been featured in The Scotsman and on BBC Radio Scotland) but also through word of mouth. They are hoping to eventually take their brand further and are looking at the rest of Europe and America. From there, who knows…?
Why only now?
The absence of suitable clothing for children with disabilities is obviously a problem that has exasperated parents and carers for a very long time, and so I have to ask – why has no-one ever done something about it before now? Claudia is equally baffled, saying:
“That’s one question I don’t have an answer to. Maybe it’s a case that there wasn’t enough of a market for the retailers to take an interest. There are approximately 750,000 disabled children in the U.K. but according to retailers that’s not that big a market”.
Well, no longer. Capr-Style is at the forefront of the industry and here-on-with the plan is “full steam ahead”. Ross Lindsay who is responsible for Capr-Style’s marketing had this to say - “Children shouldn’t have to look different because of a disability. These clothes look good, they’re fashionable, and ultimately we plan to produce a whole wardrobe”.
Click here to visit Capr-Style's website.