M&S expands kids adaptive clothing range

Marks and Spencer launched its Easy Dressing Range earlier this month bringing t-shirts, leggings and shorts to customers.

M&S tshirt
M&S t-shirt in the Easy Dressing range
  The range, which includes products in bright colours and some with illustrations, will be expanded in the autumn. Clothes have easy fastenings like Velcro backs and discreet holes for feeding tubes. Several go up to the size age 15-16 years. The retailer launched its Easy Dressing School Uniform in 2016, which was designed in consultation with charity The National Autistic Society. Speaking on the new range an M&S spokesperson said: “Our Easy Dressing Range has been developed over a number of years in partnership with our customers, including parents of children with disabilities, and expert advice from a consultant paediatrician.”

Under fire

The launch has, however, been criticised by those who note the retailer does not have suitable toilets or changing rooms for the customers this range is aimed at (Changing Places toilets with room for a hoist and adjustable adult-sized changing bench). On the lack of Changing Places toilets, Laura Moore, who runs the blog Mum on a mission, said: “If M&S are as inclusive and diverse as this range makes them look then why are they refusing to make adjustments that would mean the same families who would buy these clothes could actually spend time in their stores and be able to use the same services non-disabled customers can?” M&S stated that it is considering Changing Places toilets and said: “We are committed to being an accessible retailer and are actively researching ways in which we can include Changing Places toilets in new store openings in future.” There are now over 1,100 Changing Places toilets in the UK with most in public places including shopping centres, government buildings and transport hubs including train stations and airports. One retailer recognised for its work installing Changing Places toilets is Ikea. Tesco and Asda also have a small number of toilets. We will be covering more on adaptive clothing this summer and on Changing Places. Changing Places toilets are set to be in the political spotlight tomorrow with a 10 minute Rule Bill on Changing Places toilets.
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