Market Drayton mother launches fundraising campaign for new fashion venture
A mother from Market Drayton has embarked on an ambitious mission to change the face of the fashion industry by making it more accessible for people with special needs.
Donna Edmunds' six-year-old daughter Kitty has Angelman Syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects the nervous system and causes severe physical and intellectual disability.
The youngster spent the first three years of her life crawling around on the floor and wore holes in the knees off all of her trousers.
Wishing that more durable clothing existed, her 37-year-old mother founded Kitted Clothing, a new fashion brand catering specifically for people with special needs.
Despite having no prior experience of fashion design, Donna has made a number of prototypes.
She has been learning the basics of pattern drafting from books bought on Amazon and is using an old sewing machine that she found tucked away in the attic.
Her creations so far have included trousers with angled waistlines for children in wheelchairs, a jumper that comes completely apart at the back for children with limited mobility and trousers that can be opened up to the knees for children who wear splints or orthopaedic boots.
They also have bright colours and bold patterns to make them more attractive to children.
Donna now needs funding to roll out the production of her first collection and has launched an online campaign in the hopes of raising £100,000.
She said: “We already have a thriving sportswear industry.
"My vision is that within the next few years we’ll see the rise of a similar adaptive clothing industry for that niche market.
"I want special needs parents to be able to walk into high street shops and buy clothes for their children as easily as any other parent can.”
Kitted Clothing's ethos is to allow people with special needs to express their personalities through fashion without sacrificing comfort.
Donna said: “Children living with disabilities are as bright, funny and outgoing as any other.
“They don’t want to wear drab, practical clothing, they want something that makes a statement about who they are, while feeling comfortable.
"I want to provide them with clothes that do just that.”
The funds raised through Donna's crowd funding campaign will be used to employ professional designers, graders and seamstresses to make the clothes.
Despite working without a team so far, she hopes to raise the funds in time to have the first clothes available to buy at the beginning of next year.
Donna added: “This campaign will make a real difference to the lives of children with special needs, so I hope people will be inspired to lend me their support."
People can make donations at gofundme.com/kittedclothing
For more information on the brand visit kittedclothing.com