29 Jul Breaking Barriers: The Shapes United Brings Stylish Adaptive Fashion to the Forefront
Australian adaptive fashion brand, The Shapes United, launched in Walmart
Fashion and style know no boundaries, and thanks to the incredible work of Melbourne-based fashion designer, Penny Weber, adaptive clothing is now taking centre stage. Founder of the award-winning adaptive clothing brand, The Shapes United, Penny has created a ground-breaking line of clothing tailored to individuals with disabilities and reduced mobility, including stylish options for tweens and teens.
The Shapes United’s momentous achievement lies in its recent partnership with none other than the world’s largest retail business, Walmart. As the first Australian adaptive fashion label to make its mark in Walmart, Penny’s journey from adversity to triumph is nothing short of inspiring.
In 2009, Penny’s life took an unexpected turn when a serious car accident left the left side of her body affected. During her months in the hospital, she realized the limited clothing options available for people with reduced mobility.
“It’s a different situation to the old, ‘I have nothing to wear’ conundrum. I was 32 and I literally had nothing to wear. I couldn’t dress myself, and I knew this was the reality for many others. I was surprised there was nothing available,” she said.
“I am grateful to be in the position to assist people to have the ability to dress themselves and to dress how they want.”
Determined to make a difference, Penny set out to create adaptive clothing that not only met functional needs but also exuded style and versatility.
The Shapes United range boasts a diverse selection of clothing adaptations, including wider openings, hook and loop closures, no tags, and flat seams. Available in sizes ranging from X-Small to 3XL, these inclusive designs cater to all individuals, irrespective of ability or mobility impairment.
Beyond providing clothing solutions, The Shapes United is empowering people to express themselves through fashion. Penny understands the joy that comes from being able to dress oneself and the immense impact it has on an individual’s sense of independence and confidence.
Collaborating with the Remarkable start-up accelerator, a division of Cerebral Palsy Alliance, Penny identified a significant market need for more inclusively designed clothing options. This realization led to the birth of The Shapes United, a brand that seamlessly transitions from casual daywear to professional attire to social outings with friends.
Remarkable acknowledged the brand’s significance, stating that it addresses a global gap in the market. Whether facing a temporary impairment or a lifelong disability, everyone deserves the opportunity to choose what they wear and feel great in it.
The journey to Walmart began unexpectedly during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the hurdles, Penny received a message from a Walmart representative on LinkedIn, expressing interest in including her clothing brand in their adaptive clothing range. This incredible milestone reaffirmed the value of her work and the demand for fashionable and inclusive clothing options worldwide.
Back home in Australia, The Shapes United’s efforts have not gone unnoticed. The brand was honoured with the Australia Post Local Business Hero Award 2023, standing out among a record number of applicants.
The Shapes United will make its official debut on Walmart’s online platform on National Disability Independence Day in the United States on 26th July 2023. Additionally, the brand’s online shop, as well as various other platforms like Averee, Hello Good World, Better That, and The Iconic, will offer its collections for purchase.
Penny Weber’s extraordinary journey is a testament to the power of passion, determination, and inclusivity. By breaking down barriers and bringing style to adaptive clothing, she is changing lives and empowering individuals with disabilities to embrace fashion with newfound confidence. As parents and carers of those with disabilities or anyone seeking stylish, accessible clothing, The Shapes United offers a world of possibilities, where everyone can express their unique style without compromise.
Fashion knows no boundaries, and with The Shapes United leading the charge, adaptive clothing has never looked chicer and more empowering. Let us celebrate the triumph of inclusivity and fashion that speaks to all needs, abilities, and desires.