When parents think of back to school and shopping for dress code styles, French Toast is always top of mind. This year, the brand is delivering on its mission to “help kids shine” by launching a new collection focused on people with disabilities. Over the course of four years, French Toast worked with students with disabilities and their families to create 12 pieces that authentically meet the needs of students with disabilities and other students who are looking for sensory-friendly options.
Stephen Ashear, President of French Toast, said, "Every child deserves to feel comfortable and confident when they go to school and have as much independence as possible to get dressed on their own. The process by which our design team developed the collection demonstrates our dedication to taking an authentic approach. We are proud to be supporting PWDs and helping to raise visibility for this underserved community." He continued, "It was important for French Toast to keep the product at our everyday great value – which is why we kept our prices the same across the board. The most important thing for us is to be inclusive and do the right thing."
Best Selling Core Styles Designed with Adaptive Features
French Toast took its best-selling core styles and modified them for the adaptive collection. Areas included fit, comfort, ease of use, and independence. By adding Lift Loops™ and discreet EZ-Closure Hook + Loop fasteners, students and their families can now have an easier time putting on and taking off tops and bottoms. Students have more confidence getting dressed and will feel comfortable the whole day.
Sensory Friendly Features
The French Toast Adaptive collection also focuses on students who are looking for sensory friendly options. Details such as a fully tagless design, a wider neckline and flat seams ensure that there is no sacrifice in style for being comfortable. These are the details that make a large difference for kids who are bothered by chafing seams and itchy tags.
Students that are comfortable are better able to pay attention in class. French Toast Adaptive focused on comfort, particularly with its line of pants and shorts which have higher-rises and details that provide more coverage and are easier to get on and off. For example, openings at the cuffs help leg braces fit neatly inside.
12 Items that Make the Grade
The collection is made up of 12 dress-code-ready tops and bottoms including polos, woven shirts, shorts, pants, skorts, dresses, and activewear. Key adaptive features include EZ-Closure Hook + Loop featured on lower leg closures and replaces zippers and buttons for easy dressing. Additional features include flat seam details and Label-Free Comfort that won't chafe or irritate skin, High Rise for extra coverage, and Lift Loops™ to easily pull clothing on and off. French Toast Adaptive includes the same comfort and quality features of the French Toast core collection, like Stretch Fabric, Power Knees®, Hidden Comfort Shorts, Wrinkle No More™, Expandable Collars, and Adjustable Waists.
Getting Extra Credit
French Toast took things one step further and partnered with GAMUT Management to authentically understand kids with disabilities and their caregivers' needs. This started with education and training for the French Toast team. The team at GAMUT Management, led by Founder and CEO Mindy Scheier, worked with French Toast to hold panel discussions, focus groups and fit testing with kids with disabilities and caregivers to fine-tune each piece and get their honest feedback.
"The collection is empowering for students with disabilities. It's important for brands to work closely with people with disabilities in creating new collections from conception to completion, including the designs of the product, messaging and marketing. French Toast has really put in the work and resources necessary for the new adaptive line and we're proud to have played an integral role," says Scheier.