Designing Independence – adaptive clothing for all

I’m really excited about this project. I’m currently working with an interdisciplinary team of graduate students pursuing degrees in fashion design, business administration, and entrepreneurship.

Our Process: 

Opportunity Finding

Customer Discovery

We’ve interviewed over 70 people ranging from parents of kids with Down Syndrome (DS), to the CEO of Delaware’s Special Olympics. Our group found out about a weekly kickboxing club for kids with DS, so we took a trip down the road and talked to as many parents as we could. They were ecstatic that we were attempting to solve their problems. We learned so much about the problems they face and even observed the kids in action. Their sleeves had to be rolled up, pants didn’t fit quite right, and their clothes had to be constantly adjusted.

Minimum Viable Product (Current Stage)

This is one of the parts that stumped the team for a bit. We just could not figure out how we could get this potential solution into the hands of customers as soon as possible. We tossed around ideas of prototyping a custom pair of pants, with measurements that were more likely to fit the user, but with finals week quickly approaching, we didn’t necessarily have the bandwidth to get it done. It’s currently winter session, and I’ve got an idea. Using the data we’ve gathered from our interviews and observations, perhaps we can create a sort of “online shop” that lists all the best places to find clothes that fit. My main assumption is that parents will either be glad that they don’t have to do the digging themselves or give us feedback on the existing options, letting us know that they are still not meeting their needs. Another possibility of course is that they just don’t need that service. We won’t know until we test those assumptions, and we’re currently drafting a plan to rapidly prototype a solution.



Check out our most recent pitch deck here: Designing Independence Pitch Deck

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