ASOS has gained a reputation for inclusivity over the years. From refusing to airbrush models' stretch marks and showing how clothes look on different body types, to using a more diverse range of models than most brands, it has led the way – and now the brand has made its fashion even more accessible.
The online retailer has launched a tie-dye waterproof jumpsuit with wheelchair users in mind, ahead of festival season. It enlisted the help of BBC reporter and GB Paralympic hopeful Chloe Ball-Hopkins, 21, who is also shown modelling the jumpsuit on the site.
So over the last several months I have been working with @ASOS to create a fashionable, yet practical waterproof all in one! Not just for people like me in a chair but for anyone. It's about making fashion accessible! So what should be next?! https://t.co/1gzzkRlED9 pic.twitter.com/7yS57QEmpD— Chloe Ball-Hopkins (@chloe_ballhopzy) July 4, 2018
"So over the last several months I have been working with @ASOS to create a fashionable, yet practical waterproof all in one!" Ball-Hopkins tweeted. "Not just for people like me in a chair but for anyone. It's about making fashion accessible! So what should be next?!"
The project came about after Ball-Hopkins, a BBC Bristol sports reporter who is also training for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, emailed ASOS with her suggestion. She had the idea after getting wet at a festival last year, she told the BBC. The jumpsuit is designed with a zip around the waist, making it easy to get in and out of, and a waterproof breast pocket.
"Whether that's to put your phone in, or you've got medication or information you need to have on you in case of emergency, you can have it on you and know that it can stay dry," she said. "It was just literally those little tiny details that make the difference to people like me. We don't want to have to look like we're just doing practicality, we still want to be able to look fashionable."
The reaction on social media has been overwhelmingly positive, particularly among people with disabilities, campaigners and the charities fighting for their rights, suggesting that such a product is long overdue.
Well done to our amazing @MD_Trailblazers @chloe_ballhopzy for producing this fantastic and inclusive piece of clothing with @ASOS. It's great to see another mainstream retailer recognise the #PurplePound by designing adaptive but inclusive clothing. https://t.co/kCfxLRQ55S— Trailblazers (@MD_Trailblazers) July 4, 2018
The disability and lifestyle blogger Shona Louise, 20, wrote a moving post about the importance of the jumpsuit in a world where progress on disability-related issues often feels slow.
Countless others also applauded ASOS for its move towards even greater inclusivity, with many calling on other fashion brands to follow suit by catering to differently abled people.
Great to see this sort of representation on the @ASOS website. Shopping is something most of us take for granted in terms of representation. Seeing disabled people in the media through campaigns, as actors, singers is so important as it challenges the stigma around disabilities. pic.twitter.com/asQAprWFxS— Gurls Talk (@gurlstalk) July 4, 2018
Which fashion retailer will be next, we wonder?