The Able Label Blog
We are fortunate enough at The Able Label to have the opportunity of crossing paths with many people and organisations who’s care and support goes above and beyond, making a significant impact on peoples lives. We felt it would only be fair to honour some of these often unsung care heroes within our new section, ‘Care Heroes’.
Founder Katie is all too familiar with the challenges and also rewards involved with caring for someone. It was when her nan needed a carer whilst Katie’s mother (the sole-carer for her nan) recovered from a serious operation that she decided the time was right to take on the role as a carer.
Katie’s nan lives at home independently at the grand age of 94 and was adamant she didn’t want to go into a care home but knew she still needed some help to maintain as much independence as possible. Katie left her job at fashion retailer White Stuff to become her carer whilst her mother recovered.
At the same time, Katie began work on her dream, establishing The Able Label with the aim of encouraging independence and self-confidence through clothing. Whilst caring for her nan, she quickly realised the need for stylish adaptive clothing wasn’t solely amongst those with a disability, like Parkinson’s which her grandmother had, and where she first spotted the need. It was also through the general changes, which come through ageing. Her nan has reduced range of movement like getting her arms over her head and limited feeling in her finger tips affecting her fine motor skills which all make dressing a challenge. The Able Label sought to overcome these very common challenges to make the daily dressing routine quicker, easier and safer for those in the same situation as her nan – wanting to remain independent but still look good too.
You can see Katie's proud nan modeling one of the lovely, best selling Imogen Jersey Shirts in the image above. It is much easier for her to get on and off as there is no over head dressing involved and no fiddly fastenings as buttons are for display only. The shirt is fastened securely using velcro which can be touched closed and requires less strength and dexterity to open than other fastenings.
Someone else who has been moved by a person experience into care is Symone Salwan. Previously a successful carer in management, she left her job to run the Tunbridge Wells, Sevenoaks and Edenbridge branch of Home Instead. You can read more about her and the great work Symone and Home Instead do by reading the Home Instead Senior Care blog. Home Instead Senior Care is part of a worldwide organisation providing high-quality care for older people - you can read more about them on the Home Instead website here. Had Katie not been able to care for her nan as she did in this situation, Home Instead care certainly would have been an option keeping her nan as independent as possible in the comfort of her own home where she wanted to remain.
If you have a ‘care hero’ who you feel deserves to be honored, please let us know by emailing email@example.com and we could be giving them a mention in the next section!
Fastenings; something used to attach one thing to another firmly.
All sounds very simple, right? Well, we can assure you it isn’t! There are buttons, buckles, clasps, hook and eye, ties, knots, zips, press studs, hook and loops (better known as velcro), toggles, and the list goes on!
Of all fastenings, buttons have endured as the most common way of securing fabric. But to begin with, they were used only as decoration with the buttonhole not being invented until later on. Like the majority of other fastenings out there, buttons are not however always easy to fasten and can in fact be extremely fiddly or impossible to use. This is especially the case if you have numbness, stiffness or pain in your hands restricting movement and fine motor skills.
Attention to Detail
With attention to detail at the heart of all what we do at The Able Label, we got to thinking - what if we could go back to a time where the button was only used for decoration and an alternative fastening be used to avoid the fiddly notion of securing clothes. You name it, we’ve researched it.
All suitable options which could potentially make dressing less fiddly, we have trialled and tested. Having spent over a year and a half developing and perfecting the collection – we quickly narrowed down hook and loop (velcro) as being the most suitable type of fastening for its ease to open and close. In fact, during our market research, nearly 60% found buttons in particular extremely difficult or impossible to fasten whilst 0% had difficulties with hook and loop.
Attention to Quality
Then to finding the best hook and loop fastening out there on the market and we feel we have it. Some of the key features of the hook and loop fastenings we have carefully sourced include:
- the yarns are of such a high quality, as long as carefully maintained following the garments wash care instructions, ensuring the hook and loop are closed when washing, it will last as long as the item of clothing it is used on.
- it has specifically been designed for frequent opening and closing and is also used by the top sportswear retailers.
- it is a softer hook and loop fastening meaning that the fastening is less likely to snag on other items.
- with a good peel strength but high sheer and tensile strength, the open and close motion is easier requiring less strength however will not come undone through wear even if in seated position for long periods of time which would put greater strain on the fastening.
- the fasteners are coloured as part of The Able Label’s ‘EasyFasten’ system. Just match coordinating colours to secure the fastening – lime for left and red for right.
Within the range, we have several styles, which discretely incorporate this hook and loop fastening, giving you the best of both – function and fashion.
Front Fastening - Imogen Jersey Shirt and Maria Jersey Vest
Both the shirt and vest fasten at the front using our premium hook and loop. The shirt has buttons that are simply for decoration and not for use. Being front fastening, there is no need for overhead dressing.
Wrap Fastening - Su Jersey Wrap Dress and Linda Jersey Wrap Top
All wrap styles are securely fastened with the hook and loop. Fastening to the side, the hook and loop had both been coloured to match – lime for left and red for right to make it easier to align and fasten correctly. To look at, you would not realise the wrap styles had been made easier to dress with fiddly fastenings removed.
To find out more, take a look at our website www.theablelabel.com
Otherwise we always love to hear from you and are very happy for you to contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org