“Spending Power” is a series where we discuss trendy products from the young and diverse women entrepreneurs behind some of our favorite small businesses.
As a society, we have a lot of work to do when it comes to making the world a more accessible place. One brand leading the way is FFORA, a fashion accessories brand that works on (and off) wheelchairs.
“There is somewhat design bias that we don’t really talk about,” CEO Lucy Jones tells In The Know. “It was after speaking with a family member of mine who has cerebral palsy that it really dawned on me that accessibility is so often an afterthought to design.”
Jones says that she wanted to make accessibility the focal point of her designs, hoping to serve those underrepresented in fashion. What makes FFORA most unique is its Attachment System. The attachment is the foundational piece that manual wheelchair users can attach to the lower tubes of their chairs. Each attachment also has a magnetic interface. The interface makes products like FFORA’s bags, bottle holders and tumblers easier to latch onto the attachment without force. Plus, they’re all super stylish in gold, copper and black finishes.
Shop: Attachment System In Gold, $20
“None of this is possible without listening to what people really really want,” Jones states. “I am a person who doesn’t have a disability, so I’m not going to even begin to pretend that I can understand some of the challenges people with disabilities face.”
One of the brand’s star products is its Essentials Bag that’s offered in two sizes and several eye-catching colors. The strap on the bag is intentionally short, according to Jones, because it’s intended for sitting bodies.
“It has a complete wallet with a cardholder and all the zippers have these loopy thumbholes for people who have limited grip,” Jones explains. “For people who undo zippers with their teeth, it’s something soft that they can bite onto to undo it.”
When it comes to shaking up the fashion industry, this brand is doing so by listening first and designing second.
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