I recently read an interesting blog on “Adaptive Clothing” (see link below blog) that talks of all of the “new and innovative” clothing lines available for disabilities.
This was my response to the editor:
“We have been in the adaptive clothing business since 2001. As a matter of fact – we, Dignity by Design, introduced Adaptive Fashion to the world. For years we went to investors, we pitched, we were up for awards. We were, and are, considered the leaders and experts in adapted fashionable clothing, without a stigmatized “adaptive” appearance. Yet we couldn’t make the investment market take notice – not enough to invest real $$. The main brands that are referenced in this blog simply modify their current lines “enough” to be considered adapted – but there’s so much more to adapted clothing: Materials, cut, price, style and research.
If this market truly is going to approach $393 billion by 2026, then perhaps my readers can point us to the people that are serious about disabled fashion, investing in this market and providing a real solution that will capture the market with integrity and purpose – not just a quick fix. “
Sunday evening – June 7, 2015 – Dignity by Design (my company) was notified that it had become a semi-finalist in the Minnesota Cup Competition!!
This may not mean so very much to those out of state or globally, but to Minnesota it means a great deal. And to a company that has dedicated its entirety to disabilities and the independence of the disabled, veteran and elderly…..well, it is unprecedented!!
For years, decades and historically – Disabilities have eluded investors as a non-glamorous, non-high-tech, non-money-making market. However, with the onset of disabilities hitting the runway in fashion, new technological advances in disease, war aftermath, community inclusion and software (including apps) rising to meet the needs of disabilities – it has become a viable “Social Impact” venture to investors and media worldwide.
It’s about time!
“When we’ve risen to meet the needs of our fellow man/woman – to create an environment that allows for independence, recognition of abilities and respect of worth – as a whole – regardless of ability or disAbility – then, we have truly evolved.” Donna Freeberg
Thank you MNCup for your recognition. It is amazing!
Every year – every quarter – every day….Nonprofits look to their donors to keep their
mission alive. No trade secret exposed there, right?
And although this has been the same expectation since the first nonprofit took to the soapbox and preached it’s message to any and all that could hear…..the fact is: giving is down and there is always another “cause” directly around the corporate corner.
Let’s step back and Shake It Up……Business 101 style!
You have a Mission Statement. Right? …… When was the last time that you took this out of mothballs, shook it out and proudly proclaimed it to the world at large?
What do you do? Who do you serve?
Do your donors – future sponsors – or your neighborhood Grocer – KNOW the righteous deeds that you do or the milestones you’ve obtained…… or simply that your service exists??
The world of Social Media, Crowdfunding and Corporate Sponsorships offers to Nonprofits new territory and virtually free marketing…..seize the day!
REVITALIZE and RECHARGE Engage with your donors, your clients and your neighbors!
Open the office to a meet and greet
Sponsor a “Morning Coffee Intro” at a neighborhood coffee shop
Visit a rehabilitation facility with Coffee, Tea and rolls
…..Communication and Engagement on a personal level, as well as a strong
online presence will keep your message and mission vital.
There is much on the global runway today that is addressing disabilities and fashion. Models are entering the runways in designs from the best houses of fashion. My colleagues, with disabilities, are finally being focused on – for the first time – for the beautiful people that they are – disability or no.
But is this just a showing for the designers, spotlighting their “compassionate” nature, and garnering headlines? The clothing is not made exclusively for the disabled – and although it’s very lovely – it does not address the issue of fashion for disabilities.
I believe that it’s opportunistic. My clothing line “Dignity by Design” is made specifically for disabled, Veterans and the elderly. (www.dignitybydesign.com)
We have struggled for years to get recognition by investors and angels, Why?:
Not enough of a market (5 million Americans and returning Veterans….not enough?)
“We don’t understand the disabled community”. (How about getting to know them?)
“We don’t understand the manufacturing/clothing market…too unstable”. (Does “Fubu” ring familiar?)
“It’s not technology…. and the return in the technology industry is more guaranteed.” (Although, with an 80% failure rate – the ROI is far from guaranteed.)
…The need IS real for the 5 million Americans alone, struggling with clothing issues, not having adequate resources and unable to afford designer prices – even if the clothing was made for their needs?
Please post your concerns or interest – because I am mystified at the apathy and lack of concrete solutions provided, thus far, for the daily needs of professional and social disabled citizens. We have always had the answer!
Minnesota’s Angel Tax Credit provides a 25-percent credit to investors or investment funds that put money into startup companies focused on high technology, new proprietary technology, or a new proprietary product, process or service in specified fields. The maximum credit is $125,000 per person, per year ($250,000 if filing jointly). The credit is refundable. Residents of other states and foreign countries are eligible.
A total of $16 million in tax credits is available, divided into two parts:
$7.5 million is reserved until Sept. 30 for investments in businesses owned by women or minorities or in businesses located in Greater Minnesota. As of 1/26/2015, $6.0 million remains. After Oct. 1, any remaining tax credits not allocated to these targeted businesses will be made available to others.
Another $8.5 million in credits (including unused credits from 2014) is available for investments in other businesses. As of 1/26/2015, $5.5 million remains.