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Primark launches its first adaptive lingerie collection

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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Fashion |In Pictures

Primark adaptive lingerie collection Credits: Primark by photographer Esme Moore

Value retailer Primark has unveiled its first adaptive lingerie collection in a commitment to make fashion and everyday essentials more accessible and affordable to as many people as possible.

The new four-piece lingerie collection coincides with new research from Primark and the Research Institute for Disabled Consumers that states three in five disabled people living in the UK struggle to find clothes they feel ‘happy and comfortable’ in.

Charlie Magadah-Williams, head of diversity and inclusion at Primark, said in a statement: “Primark was founded with the ambition of making fashion more affordable for everyone, and that means representing and responding to the different needs of all our customers.

“As we’ve grown, our ranges have expanded and we’re proud to be taking specialist products that are typically more expensive and only available online, and offering them at affordable prices on the high street.”

The debut adaptive lingerie range has been co-designed with technical specialists to address the needs of disabled people, informed by the experiences and views of disabled people. The seam-free bra, lace bralette, black briefs and period pants aim to be more practical and comfortable by using small adaptations, such as easy closures, discrete magnetic clasps and the use of materials like Velcro.

Magadah-Williams added: “Our first adaptive lingerie collection has been two years in the making but we’ve got big ambitions to go further. This is more than a new range for us – it’s the start of looking at how we are supporting our disabled customers and colleagues and understanding what more we can do to make Primark a more accessible place to work and shop.”

Primark pledges to make adaptive fashion more accessible and affordable

Primark adaptive lingerie collection Credits: Primark by photographer Esme Moore

The research adds that with an estimated 16 million people in the UK living with a disability adaptive clothing is essential. However, affordability and accessibility are key barriers for disabled people, as more than a third (36 percent) find adaptive clothing very expensive, and a quarter (24 percent) opt to buy non-adaptive clothing and alter it for their needs instead.

While nearly three in five (59 percent) state that they would be more likely to buy adaptive clothing if it was offered by mainstream retailers.

Heidi Williams De Rincon, head of lingerie buying, said: “Everyone should be able to buy underwear that makes them look and feel great, and I’m proud of the work that’s gone into this collection to do just that.

“We’ve worked to create products that combine practical features such as magnetic closures alongside beautiful feminine designs. We know there is much more we can do, but we hope this small collection will make it a little bit easier for people to access more affordable adaptive underwear on their local high street.”

Primark adaptive lingerie collection Credits: Primark by photographer Esme Moore

Primark to review in-store experience for disabled people

Primark notes that the lingerie collection marks the first of many adaptive product ranges to come later in the year, and it also pledges to drive change across its stores and business to better serve disabled colleagues and customers.

Research shows that shopping in-store is often a difficult and challenging experience for disabled people, with 55 percent saying that they regularly avoid shopping in-store as it is a difficult or challenging experience for them with their disability, highlighting the need for change right across the industry.

To address this, Primark is reviewing its stores and operations to look at ways it can provide a better service and a more welcoming experience for disabled customers and colleagues, adding to its work-to-date that includes dedicated accessible till points and fitting rooms for people with disabilities.

This will include a detailed survey of its store and office environments, a programme of work which will be carried out by leading disability organisation AccessAble to create a more accessible environment for customers and colleagues. The retailer is also working with accessibility specialist Dr Shani Dhanda, global disability organisation Purple Tuesday and leading business membership organisation in disability inclusion Business Disability Forum to review policies, processes and channels, enhancing its culture of accessibility throughout the business.

Dhanda added: “Disabled people are faced with much higher unavoidable living costs, and the choices available when it comes to clothing are often limited and expensive. I regularly experience first-hand the frustration of not finding clothes that fit my body, highlighting the systemic barriers deeply embedded in our society.

“Brands hold a pivotal role in dismantling these barriers that profoundly impact the daily lives of disabled people. That is why I am delighted to see Primark’s dedication to inclusivity and accessibility. Their comprehensive and holistic approach is poised to address the diverse barriers faced not only by their customers, but also by their colleagues.”

Primark’s adaptive lingerie collection is available in 64 stores across the UK, either in-store or via Click + Collect in sizes 2XS to 2XL. Prices range from 8 to 10 pounds.

Primark adaptive lingerie collection Credits: Primark by photographer Esme Moore
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