Style Aide chats with Matt Skerritt, founder of Adaptive clothing brand Every Human.
What I would love to see is major brands offering an adaptive range which looks no different to the rest of their offering, however with subtle functional adjustments.
What inspired you to start Every Human?
Our family has been involved in the aged care space since the year I was born, which is how I came across adaptive clothing. But when speaking to friends with disabilities and hearing the passion people have for needing greater choice with adaptive clothing that is also fashionable, I decided to pivot on aged care and focus towards people with disabilities. I’m so passionate about trying to improve the lives of people by offering a product that people love and is life-changing. It is something that I connected with on a personal level.
I don’t have a background in fashion at all. In fact I used to work for Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) in professional services as well as the family business which owns and operates nursing homes. But I saw a problem, where fashion and disability didn’t go hand in hand when there is every reason they should. What I do know is how I feel when I put on a nice pair of pants, shirt and jacket. I feel confident, have a bounce in my step and feel like I can tackle the world. My friends with disabilities are no different. They want to wear clothes that make them feel amazing. They want to wear clothes so they fit in with everyone else. That is the inspiration for creating EveryHuman.
What are some of your favorite Every Human labels, why?
That is a tough one! There are so many great brands that we have partnered with. There is no doubt that the Billy Footwear shoes have been our most popular. I think they are one of my favourites because of the stories we hear back from our customers saying how the shoes have changed their life & the fact that they look no different from a regular pair of shoes.
Recently we have launched our first Australian based brands; Inc Kids & Christina Stephens. While Inc Kid offers AFO/Orthotic Friendly jeans & jumpers that are easy to put on, and Christina Stephens offers essentials for women with restricted movement, they are two of the trendiest adaptive brands I have seen around. We are so happy to see more local brands move into the adaptive space.
What do you hope to see happen in the adaptive fashion market?
What I would love to see is major brands offering an adaptive range which looks no different to the rest of their offering, however with subtle functional adjustments. I believe that traditional fashion brands think they have to drastically change their design to make it adaptive - but in fact it is the most minor change that can make it so much more comfortable or easier to wear for a person with a disability or injury.
As a brand, we are fighting for inclusiveness, which is important for our community. We want to try and get the entire fashion industry to have a more inclusive mindset when it comes to disability, whether it be when designing, on the runway or on the pages of mainstream magazines. We have seen the fashion industry become more inclusive with plus-sized fashion. I'm really excited to see brands move in that direction for people of all abilities.