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In Sweden, used clothing is fashioned into eveningwear for people with physical disabilities

As boundless as shopping for fashion has become, that overwhelming choice isn't available to all. For those with physical disabilities, options are extremely limited. Especially when it comes to stylish clothing for a night out. 

Which is why health and social services provider Särnmark partnered with Myrorna — one of Sweden's largest secondhand retailers — to launch Funkfestkläder. To create this formalwear collection, items were selected from Myrorna's stores and adapted by fashion designer Louise Linderoth to suit people who, like her, use a wheelchair or have other physical disabilities. 

While the first collection sold out in December 2021, Funkfestkläder encourages consumers to get in touch if they need a piece made.

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Whether for self-expression, as a way to fit in or both, fashion is far from trivial. As Alexander Nordin, who works in communications at Särnmark and uses a wheelchair himself, explains: "It's nearly impossible to find eveningwear that works practically if you're disabled, and clothes play a big role when it comes to feeling included in different social contexts. For me, Funkfestkläder is first and foremost about equality. We should have the same opportunities as people without disabilities to be a little vain, especially if there's a party."

Time to bring this innovation to other countries? Not just for the next holiday season, but as Myrorna's Åsa Blomberg puts it, "for going to a Nobel Prize banquet, a grandchild's wedding or drinks after work." 

Related: our OMNIBILITY trend briefing — all about accessibility and how to turn barriers into innovations