The Able Label Blog
We have had an incredible year over at The Able Label. From so many amazing milestones, we have pin pointed a few of our stand-out moments and achievements!
This Christmas be prepared for comfortable glam. From Christmas Eve through to Boxing Day, we have created styling suggestions to put at the top of your Christmas list. Our easy to use fastenings and clever designs will help to reduce your time and effort dressing, so that you can focus on celebrating!
The Kent County Show is an annual event showcasing farming, countryside and rural life. The show brings together the very best of Kent with animals and food, fun and excitement and above all, a flavour of what ’The Garden of England’ has to offer. The three-day event saw over 90,000 visitors, 400 exhibitors and trade stands and over 300 competitions, activities and displays this year.
The Able Label proudly exhibited with a stand in The Wrinkly Roadshow Hub Marquee. A brand new addition at the Kent County Show this year, the hubs aim was to provide advice, information and support in order to maintain independent living. All those with stands in the marquee had the same goal of helping people to live independent lives.
Exhibitors showing alongside The Able Label clothing included:
CROP – a charity setup to help with citizen rights for older people as well as with technology or any problem that may require a second opinion or some intervention from an experienced volunteer to help out
Home Instead Senior Care - supporting loved ones to stay safe at home without losing any personal freedom. This leaves family members feeling happy and confident that their loved ones are enjoying the highest standards of care at all times
The Family Funeral Service in Maidstone – a small independent funeral company
Argo Life & Legacy – provides advice, guidance and support to help you plan for the future whilst dealing with the present. Wanting to help you achieve your wishes, lighten the stress and strain that comes with age, affluence or ill health.
Audley Homes – retirement villages that enable you to stay firmly in control, with complete freedom and independence to live the life you choose. Own your own retirement home, in a beautiful and secure environment, without having to give up the things you love, including your pets. Plus, you have the added luxury of having your gardens and property maintained for you.
Domus Live-In Care – offers a professional, reliable service, providing 24 hour care and support to clients in the comfort and familiar surroundings of their own homes
Centra – have a wide range of care and support services to protect their customers’ individual needs, safety and independence. Through their breadth and depth of experience and resources, they deliver quality services to meet individual needs
Alzheimer’s and Dementia Support Services – a not for profit charitable organisation that aims to enable people with dementia to remain in their own home for as long as possible
Oakhouse Foods – with a reputation for quality, great value and a caring service, they have become one of the country’s favourite ready meal services delivering food straight to your door.
The Garden of England Homecare – aims to raise the standards and quality of social care provision in Kent, by providing the highest quality of care to all their service users regardless of status in accordance with the Equalities Act 2010.
It was great fun showing alongside all of these exhibitors, learning more about the great services they offer to encourage independence.
We’d like to say a huge thank you to those of you who were able to come down and see us at the show. It was a fantastic event, which enabled us to let more people know about the range of easier dressing clothes we provide to encourage independence and grow self-confidence through self-dressing.
If you know anyone who may benefit from The Able Label’s range of adaptive clothing, please help to share our details:
It has been a full year since we began selling The Able Label clothes, all specifically designed to make dressing easier for stylish women. A year on, we speak to our founder Katie about how the year has gone and what the future holds.
Founder Katie with Kent Young Entrepreneur award
1) What is the biggest achievement by The Able Label this past year?
We are incredibly proud to have had our hard work recognised having won and been nominated for several awards. The Able Label was a finalist in the Kent Start up award and I won runner up in the Young Entrepreneur category. On the day of our first year anniversary, we also found out we had been nominated and made it through as a finalist of the Kent Dementia Friendly awards.
2) Tell us about the first year of The Able Label.
Where to start? So much has happened in a year!
Due to demand, we have doubled our range and will also be introducing more new styles in time for Christmas which we are very excited about.
The Able Label is stocked by key charities who can all see the benefits of the clothing for the groups they support.
We have also extended our services also offering alterations and continue to give VAT exemption to those it applies to on the majority of our lines.
Most importantly though, we have built a strong and loyal customers base who love the ranges and have placed several orders with our styles helping them to remain independent. These customers also include family members and carers buying on behalf of women they support with one carer recently feeding back,
“I am 46 years old and care for an 84-year-old lady who has recently ordered a number of items from The Able Label. I don't think I have ever received better service from any other company. Products are excellent, very thoughtfully designed and well made. I wouldn't hesitate recommending this company to anyone. First class communication and service. Thank you.”
We have learnt so much this year. The invaluable feedback we have had from customers as well as Occupational Therapists, we work very closely with, has meant we have been able to enhance our ranges, continuously improving them.
Behind the scenes on first photoshoot
3) Tell us about the team that made The Able Label happen.
The successful year we have had can only be attributed to the fantastic team that have supported the brand from the start. They are all experts within their industry and provide invaluable knowledge and expertise to help us maintain the highest standard and attention to detail that’s never compromised. We are incredibly lucky to have them on board.
Amongst the team, we have designers, garment technologists, a creative director, expert retail advisors and very skilled manufacturers making our lovely clothes. Without them, The Able Label would not be what it is today.
4) Is there anything you would do differently?
There is nothing we would do differently as such, we just want to continue to learn, develop and grow the range of clothes to carry on helping women remain as independent as possible when dressing each day.
5) How do you stay motivated and inspired?
Just the feedback we receive from our customers is enough to keep me motivated. Seeing what a difference our clothing can make to people is extremely rewarding. We meet such inspiring individuals that make all our hard work worthwhile.
6) Over the year, The Able Label has developed some fantastic partnerships with charities, brands and organisations. How important have they been to The Able Label?
They have been key to The Able Label’s growth. We are being stocked by some huge charities including Alzheimer’s Society, Parkinson’s UK, National Osteoporosis Society and Different Strokes. They’re doing fantastic work in supporting the groups they work with and we are very pleased to be able to help them with this. They’ve helped us to raise awareness of the The Able Label brand from being unknown a year ago before launching.
The Able Label clothes being made
7) What is the process behind creating a The Able Label product line?
So much goes into creating The Able Label clothes. We work nearly a year in advance in order to give us enough time to rigorously trial and test every item before it is included within the range.
We begin the process by speaking to customer and healthcare professionals to really understand the wants and needs of our ladies. After researching the seasons’ key colours and trends, all of this information is then translated into designs that are prototyped so we can begin trials to ensure feedback has been followed closely enough. We go through this process, which also includes fitting the garments on various body shapes, at least three times before we sign anything off having met all the requirements.
It is then over to our skilled manufacturers in Portugal, renowned for their expertise in jersey, to create the lovely clothes for our customers.
8) Autumn is here, and Winter approaching - what are The Able Label's plans for the season?
This season, we’re really focused on gifting particularly in nightwear, an area our customers have told us they would love to see us doing. We have four nightdresses, which all open at the front and fasten with our usual high quality Velcro, cosy bed jackets for extra warmth and bed socks with practical grippers to help prevent slipping.
9) What's planned for the next year?
Next year we want to reach more people and let then know about the work we are doing and the benefits of our clothes.
We are already working on new spring/summer and autumn ranges to keep our customers stylishly independent .
We also are about to launch into Australia, which is incredibly exciting.
Here’s to another year building on the success of last year!
The Able Label is an innovative womenswear lifestyle clothing brand that designs all styles in house alongside Occupational Therapists and customers and make all our lovely jersey garments within Europe. The range of clothes allow easier dressing for those who like to look good but find high-street fashion too fiddly or awkward to wear. We appreciate that it's often the little things in life that can make the biggest difference so attention to detail is always at the heart of everything we do.
We help to overcome some of the day-to-day issues that can arise when dressing – independence, the desire to remain stylish and to maintain a sense of identity in spite of reduced dexterity and impaired mobility or cognitive skills.
Ease of Dressing
Our clothes have all specifically been designed to make dressing easier. This includes, colour coordinated internals making areas like armholes easier to find as well as touch fastening closures which require minimal strength and no over dressing. Why do we need fiddly button fastenings and to dress items over the head anyway?
All our fabrics and our garments are of the highest quality and made in Europe, with mills and factories known for their expertise in jersey.
All fabrics are machine washable at 40 degrees unless stated otherwise.
Our stylish and versatile clothes are timeless wardrobe essentials that are easy to outfit and can be worn season after season.
Trialled and Tested
Occupational Therapists and people who would benefit from wearing the clothes have all rigorously tested each style.
With all clothing specifically designed to make dressing easier, we are able to offer VAT relief to those it applies to. Find out if you are eligible for VAT relief here.
Convenient Ways to Shop
Whether online, over the phone or by mail order, we have several ways to shop to make things more convenient for you. Shopping on behalf of a friend, relative or someone you care for? Request a catalogue for them by clicking here so they can see the full range.
We offer an express delivery should you need it. Buy and try - not sure if the item is right for you, not a problem as you can return it on us for free. Find out more on our Delivery & Returns page.
Because we Genuinely Care
Founder Katie’s grandmother had Parkinson’s, so she saw first-hand the difficulties her grandmother faced in dressing. Not just for women with Parkinson’s, the clothes are for anyone with dressing difficulties. We are here to help so if you have any questions or want further advice on The Able Label clothing, call the team on 01622 744242.
You can find out more about us on our website About Us page here.
Changing your clothes before and after exercises classes such as yoga or pilates, can be time-consuming, painful and sometimes just impossible. The Able Label brings you a range of clothes that are easier to dress into and out of independently.
However hard you work, enjoy comfortable movement with these exercise suitable styles. We present - Linda Jersey Wrap Top, Maria Jersey Vest and Frankie Straight Leg Trouser that all allow you to have a comfortably chic workout. All made from breathable viscose and with elastane for added stretch and comfort, the garments move with your body. You will be pleased to see they are versatile enough to take you to your exercise class, through your exercise class, from your exercise class and all the way back to your sofa for lounging in effortless style minimising the number of times you may need to change.
Linda Jersey Wrap Top
This wrap style comes in three colours but we love the navy for exercise. The raglan sleeves make getting arms into the armhole easier and also allows more movement when worn. Layer the ‘Maria Jersey Vest’ underneath for the perfect look and for extra coverage.
Maria Jersey Vest
The vest has Velcro front fastening, meaning no overhead dressing. The Velcro itself has a good peel strength making it easier to fasten and unfasten however it has a stronger sheer and tensile strength which means the garment will not come undone through movement. This leaves you free to focus on your workout and not your wardrobe.
Frankie Straight Leg Trousers
These trousers have no fastenings at the waist removing this often fiddly element of dressing. The high waist with roll detail at waistband means you have maximum coverage when moving. There is a long zip at the hem to allow easier access to splints, bandages or catheter bags if needed or to simply create a slightly wider leg. When fastened, the zip is so discreet you would not know it was there.
As we enter into the New Year and wave farewell to 2015, The Able Label reflects on the year gone by. It has been quite an action packed 12 months for us, which we would like to share with you.
The year hasn’t been without its downs too though. Sadly Founder Katie’s grandmother passed away. She was unable to see the first range that was inspired by her own difficulties faced dressing with Parkinson’s. We are sure you’ll agree that if she were still around, she would be incredibly proud of Katie and The Able Label.
Despite this, there have been many highlights this year including go live with the first collection, attending several leading tradeshow and also having some great feedback from the likes of Joanna Lumley!
The Designs Finalised
Working with some of the best designers, garment technologists and factories around, we finalised our first range of adaptive clothing, which looks great but also makes dressing easier too.
The Final Samples
After several trips to and from our factory in Portugal and many focus groups with customers and occupational therapist later, we got our final samples through. Thrilled with them and the positive feedback we received, we proceeded into production.
We had our first ever photoshoot and met with some incredibly inspiring individuals who volunteered to model for us wanting easier to dress clothes but with style still very important to them. We had some of the industries best hair and makeup artists working on making them over and a leading photographer photographing them. We went on to put the images into our first catalogue which can be found on our website http://www.theablelabel.com/catalogue_a/278.htm
We have had lots of positive feedback and list the best couple for you below. More can be found on our website http://www.theablelabel.com/testimonials_a/256.htm
'Many congratulations to Katie for this range of easy to get into clothes which are stylish and attractive and which I hope will become the mainstay of many wardrobes.'
'It is so nice to see someone has actually considered dressing when designing a clothing range. I ordered three vests and the quality is gorgeous! My son who is visiting even commented saying how beautiful they looked. No longer will I need to cut myself out of vests as these front fasten with velcro.'
-Mrs Harris, aged 84, from Reading
We had the opportunity to meet Lord Young and show him some of The Able Label’s easy dress clothing collection at Enterprising Women Event held at The British Library.
Several major tradeshows were attended where we were able to showcase the innovative collection including The Care Show and OT Show held at Birmingham NEC and also RehaCare International held in Dusseldorf.
We have featured in The Mail on Sunday, Saga Magazine, The Lady Magazine, The OT Magazine, Thiis Trade Magazine and Arthritis Care’s Inspire Magazine to name but a few. We even had our product rated 5/5 in Able Magazine.
So as you can see, the year as been action packed for us and we look forward to the same in 2016 - brining out more desirable designs that also make dressing easier. Let's toast to an exciting year ahead!