Image of the Grafton Centre, Cambridge

Cambridge to host new adaptive clothing pop-up store

The pop-up shop ‘Unhidden’ is Cambridge’s first adaptive clothing brand

The Grafton Centre will be hosting new clothing brand ‘Unhidden,’ which is adapted to people with physical disabilities. The shop will be open every Sunday from the 8th of August for the the next three months.

Unhidden’s clothing aims to make fashionable adaptive clothing that will make life easier and more comfortable for its users. Its products include shirts with magnetic fastenings for patients that may struggle with buttons and trousers that are made from looser material that can accommodate a catheter or other tools without the removal of clothing.

The range also includes trousers specifically for wheelchair users with no seams or pockets that do not rise up after sitting down, and have less material behind the knee to reduce pressure on the body.

Many of Unhidden’s Clothing designs are available on their Instagram. This shirt has “hidden zips and access points” and “is designed with wheelchair users in mind” (Image credits: Unhidden clothing on Instagram) ⁠

CEO Victoria Jenkins,  who has a disability herself due to gastrointestinal conditions, founded the brand in 2016. She explained her own experience in a hospital in which she met a cancer patient inspired her to create the brand. The patient “had to remove all of her clothing, usually in front of a team of doctors” in order to access some of her “stoma, arm line or chest port.” Learning that “pyjama tops and loungewear were her only options,” Jenkins began researching adaptive clothing.

In regards to the adaptive clothing market, Victoria said “I studied fashion design and it’s never covered and is still very rare for it to be covered now.” She added that “adaptive clothing is the last fashion of the fashion revolution, inclusive design is very lacking in this country.”

A former Disabled Students Officer told the Tab: “It’s fantastic to see a fully accessible clothing shop being opened in Cambridge for the very first time. There’s obviously still a lot to be done in terms of accessibility and dignity for disabled people living in this city – students and locals alike – but hopefully positive news stories such as this can inspire other disability campaigners by showing that, slowly but surely, change is happening”

Another current Disabled Students Welfare Officer agreed: “I am really excited about the news of ‘Unhidden’ being in Cambridge for the next few months. ‘Unhidden’ addresses a need felt most by our students with physical disabilities, and I hope that we see more companies expand into this fashionable adaptive clothing market in the future.”

Unhidden’s website outlines that their future plans include a not-for-profit arm training for those with chronic health conditions or disabilities to sew adaptive alterations, so that “they can then work as and when they choose making adaptive alterations for any one who doesn’t sew.”

‘Unhidden’ is located in the Sook space, every Sunday from 8th August.

Featured image credit: N ChadwickCreative Commons License