Target Launches Budget-Friendly Clothing Line for Kids with Disabilities

boys and girls shirts from target's sensory-friendly clothing line
Photo courtesy of Target

Last week, Target launched a line of inexpensive sensory-friendly clothing for kids.

Children with sensory-processing sensitivities often cannot wear clothing decorated with heavy embellishments and scratchy tags because of how their nervous systems interpret sensory stimulation.

The clothes in this new collection feature flat seams, flexible, one-dimensional graphics and heat-transferred labels in place of tags which all help to “minimize discomfort when in contact with the skin.” The leggings also have a more relaxed fit on the hips and a higher rise to fit over diapers, when needed, for older kids.

The new collection is an offshoot of Target’s successful children’s clothing line, Cat & Jack, which the company rolled out last year. The pieces are based around designs already featured in the Cat & Jack collection, so parents won’t have to compromise on fun, kid-friendly style. Low prices are an added bonus and should make it easier for parents and caregivers to begin adding the pieces into their child’s wardrobe.

Items in this sensory-friendly line range from $4.50 to $7 and come in toddler sizes 2T to 5T and kids’ extra-small to extra-large.

What Prompted Target’s New Line of Sensory Clothes

In a blog post on the company’s corporate website, Target designer Stacey Monsen and Senior Vice President of Product Design and Development Julie Guggemos explained the motivation behind the collection and the ongoing efforts to design more accommodating items for Target shoppers.

Monsen says she has trouble finding clothes that her 7-year-old daughter, who has autism. “She’s not potty-trained,” Monsen explains. “For pants or shorts, I either size way up, or buy pieces that are all function, no style.”

After realizing that she wasn’t alone in her struggle to find cute, comfortable clothes for children living with disabilities, Monsen decided to bring the need to Guggemos’ attention.

Guggemos was thrilled at the prospect of offering more inclusive pieces to customers.

“While it’s just a few pieces in the line,” Guggemos says, “for some families, they’ll make a huge difference.”

The design team worked with parents of children living with disabilities and various organizations to get a more comprehensive idea of what challenges families face when it comes to clothing. The research will be ongoing as the company works to expand the line to address a wider variety of needs.

Currently, Target offers a limited selection of pieces — a few T-shirts, some long-sleeved shirts and leggings — only available online. However, Guggemos explained that a line of adaptive clothing for children with disabilities is also on the way this fall. That collection may include features such as zip-off sleeves and pieces that open on the side or back for those lying down or sitting.

A Target spokesperson told Disability Scoop that depending on customer feedback and the performance of the sensory clothes in the Cat & Jack line, the company will consider offering adaptive and sensory-friendly clothing in adult sizes.

Grace Schweizer is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

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