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JAM The Label: inclusion and accessibility in retail

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By Published On: May 3, 20230 Comments

We spoke to adaptive clothing brand JAM The Label co-founders Molly Rogers and Emma Clegg about their new capsule collection and accessibility in retail.

JAM The Label, an adaptive fashion brand based in Melbourne has just launched their new range, an enhanced streetwear capsule collection. We sat down with founders Molly Rogers and Emma Clegg to discuss the stylish new capsule collection, the accessibility of ecommerce, and how other retailers can collaborate with the disability community to ensure inclusion and accessibility for all.

JAM The Label sells accessible clothing anyone can wear. Trendy, stylish, and adaptable, their enhanced streetwear designs are functional for all customers. From sensory friendly tagless materials, to magnetic zips and closures, JAM The Label’s clothing is specially adaptable for a number of needs and provides a much needed alternative to simply dealing with the difficulties that arise from non inclusive clothing.

Launched in 2019, JAM The Label boasts an impressive ecommerce store hosted on its website with a range of accessibility features to assist shoppers. The website is customisable for a variety of needs, alt text on images, the ability to toggle screen brightness, contrast, text size, and fonts as well as other often overlooked but useful features. When speaking to the founders, they expressed that they would like to scale this further. Currently in the works is product photography showing clothing items both in an upright position and seated.

The pureplay retail model is necessary for JAM as the accessibility of retail spaces is often overlooked, from sensory overload to poor parking options and even an under-education of retail staff to account for a variety of needs makes traditional bricks and mortar a challenge for many people in the disability community.

Community is at JAM’s core. JAM The Label leads by example, with the founders prioritising asking questions and constantly educating themselves to individual needs and inclusivity and sustainable scaling. When asked how other retailers can be more inclusive, founders Molly Rogers and Emma Clegg echoed their own experiences launching a brand in the retail world and advised people just ask questions, acknowledge individual needs and educate themselves. They explained that it is easy to avoid tokenistic inclusion by simply asking questions and authentically collaborating with the disability community especially behind the scenes and on the operational side.

In their four year history, JAM has only ever had two returns. Their supportive community will opt to pass on potential returns to others in their community rather than send back an item. Founders Molly Rogers and Emma Clegg explained that is one of the reasons they signed on to collaborate with AirRobe, a circular fashion platform that facilitates clothing resale and renting. The founders explained also that some people may only temporarily require certain adaptable clothing and that the platform helps facilitate clothing swaps within the community and avoid unnecessary waste.

This week, JAM has launched their first-ever capsule collection designed with Rachel Shugg, a fashion designer with disability.
Described as a “hybrid of function, colour and self-expression, it unapologetically celebrates a diversity of bodies and styles. This collection features boxy cuts that are juxtaposed with organic curved edges, fitted with magnetic fasteners, buckles, soft fabrics, snaps and Velcro to be as inclusive as possible.” This collection addresses the market limitations for functional and stylish adaptive clothing, by offering elevated streetwear that puts accessibility at the forefront — making it easy for anyone to dress themselves with confidence. The collection has twelve versatile pieces, including bomber jackets, jumpers, shirts, crops, tees, wrap skirts, overalls and cargo pants. All the products feature universal designs from magnetic zips, belts and fasteners to velcro closures for greater access when getting dressed. All garments are also made with sensory-friendly fabrics such as cotton and bamboo.

As a person with multiple disabilities, I have struggled with finding clothing I would wear that suited my disabled body,” said designer Rachel Shugg. “Right now, options are limited for a range of disabilities or the extent they affect someone, be it a limb difference, intellectual or sensory barriers. I feel privileged and responsible for contributing to this in a meaningful way. For this collaboration with JAM, all garments keep the disabled wearer in mind, from their bodies, the fit, function and the emotional connection I want to evoke.”

According to JAM, national searches for “adaptive clothing australia” is at an all time high, including Google Searches for the brand after hitting the closing runway at Melbourne Fashion Festival in March. On TikTok alone the hashtag #adaptivefashion has 39.6 million views and continues to make international headlines from London Fashion Week to sparking cultural discussions on accessibility in fashion.

“With 80 per cent of people with disabilities acquiring them between the ages of 18 and 64, we are proud to offer more options for our customers to wear,” says Molly Rogers, Co-Founder of JAM The Label and accessibility expert. “Shoppers are going to love our asymmetrical wrap skirt with a magnetic belt for easy adjustability and our other products with shoulder zips for increased access and invisible sleeve zips to access medical devices. These are elevated wardrobe staples with more personality, function and style.”

“Launching our first-ever capsule collection is a huge milestone for us and we are thankful for Creative Victoria’s Creative Ventures grant,” said Emma Clegg, Co-Founder of JAM The Label and fellow accessibility expert. “This has given us the opportunity to work with Rachel, address the market limitations and create more stylish and disability inclusive garments for people to wear.”

Despite the challenges of bricks and mortar retail, JAM The Label is utilising the opportunities that have arisen from an evolving retail market. Soon, Melbourne shoppers will be able to click-and-collect orders at The Glen shopping centre in Glen Waverley. Last year, the company took part in The Glen’s Parcel Concierge trials in which customers could reserve JAM The Label products and head into The Glen shopping centre and try on clothing on site before committing to the purchase.

Founders Molly Rogers and Emma Clegg explained that an omnichannel model is in the pipeline. When they eventually scale to a physical storefront, they aspire to be nothing short of the gold standard for accessibility, taking into account a variety of needs when creating a their flagship.

JAM The Label are making a difference. Everyone benefits from their adaptive, inclusive clothing. The new capsule collection including twelve new designs, as well as an extensive basics line is available now at https://jamthelabel.com/

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About the Author: Rosalea Catterson

Rosalea is the Editor of Power Retail. With a keen interest in consumer behaviour and tech, she covers everything ecommerce and hosts the Power Retail Power Talks Podcast.

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