When we first met Charlotte Coory and heard about her new online store, Hello Yello Clothing, we knew she was onto something. Hello Yello Clothing is a new Brisbane business filling a major hole in Australia’s fashion market, by curating fashionable and inclusive clothing and accessories for all needs.
Essentially, Hello Yello Clothing is helping to make the world a better place by providing people of all need and abilities with stylish clothing that can allow them to feel confident and be independent. From inclusive clothing for babies, through to a full range of pieces for adults, Hello Yello Clothing is designed to make people’s lives easier.
We recently caught up with Charlotte Coory, the director of Hello Yello Clothing after the launch of her store last week…
Tell us about Hello Yello Clothing…
Hello Yello Clothing is an inclusive online store that sells beautiful clothing and accessories for everybody, including people with disabilities or different needs and abilities.
Hello Yello Clothing has curated clothing and accessories that can be worn by a wide range of people, including those often not catered for by the mainstream clothing industry. Our main goal at Hello Yello Clothing is to make it easier for people to discover what inclusive clothing options are available and bringing new products to Australia that aren’t already available.
The current Hello Yello Clothing adult range includes clothes that cater to people who experience difficulty with zips and buttons on regular garments. These items are designed to make dressing easier, for people living with restricted movement and dexterity.
We have also included clothing for babies and toddlers who have undergone surgery or are receiving medical care, as well as kids tops from a UK Brand Tubie Kids that accommodates G-tubes which are also sensory friendly.
What inspired you to start Hello Yello Clothing?
I was inspired to start Hello Yello Clothing by my late sister. She sadly passed away last year after a long battle with stomach cancer. In the later stages of her illness, she struggled to find any clothes that would allow her to dress independently while navigating her various medical devices, let alone clothes that she liked. She wanted clothes that reflected her personality as she didn’t want to just be defined by her illness.
The idea initially came from my sister’s difficulty in finding pyjama’s she could wear that didn’t pull on a tube that she had coming from her stomach. I was confident that I would be able to find suitable pyjamas on the internet but quickly discovered there was very little available. After endlessly searching for suitable clothes for her, we were both astounded at the seemingly limited range of clothes that took into account the specific needs of people outside of what is considered mainstream.
While my sister had quite specific clothing needs, due to her type of illness, we were amazed that broader groups of people, such as people who are living with limited mobility or dexterity, and the like have not been considered by the mainstream fashion industry.
I believe that people are not their disability or illness, and everyone deserves the chance to present themselves to the world as they see themselves, as beautiful people that happen to have a particular difference, such as a disability or illness – that is just part of who they are but doesn’t define them.
Why is inclusive clothing so important?
Inclusive clothing is important as it provides pathways for better design outcomes, by improving the everyday lives of people through design. Small design features in clothes can increase people ability to dress themselves independently, which in turn can impact on their ability to function independently and with dignity, such as our range from The Able Label, which have Velcro fastenings.
There are lots of examples of products designed by or for people with disabilities which are now in everyday use, such as the typewriter (which is now the keyboard), electric toothbrushes and the touch screen on the iPhone. Inclusive design is just good design.
How have you curated your range?
I am curating a selection of very talented inclusive designers and promoting not only their products but creating a one-stop destination for all things inclusive, adaptable and fashionable. I am surprised at how many amazing design ideas are out there in this space, about which people know very little. I want to make this mainstream. It should be mainstream.
I have spent the last couple of years reading anything and everything I can get my hands on about the variety of different clothing needs that a wide range of people have. I have talked to anyone who will talk to me about inclusive clothing and finally, I started a survey on my website where I asked people to tell me about their specific clothing challenges and solutions.
Initially, I decided to start with a few select items on the Hello Yello Clothing online shop catering to men, women and children, sourced from various brands within Australia and from around the world. We will be continually expanding the range and would love to connect with people who have found inclusive brands that they love, as well as hearing from anyone who has encountered difficulties finding suitable clothing.
Tell us about the pre-loved section of your store…
Hello Yello Second Chance is a pre-loved clothing exchange. It came about from a conversation I had with a friend who has a child with sensory processing disorder. She told me that she would find clothes that met his specific needs (namely, no labels, soft fabric and sewn down seams) but when he had outgrown these clothes, she didn’t know what to do with them. She would usually just give them to the local second-hand store and they would be sold with all the regular clothes. She found this frustrating as she knew that someone could be making better use of them. So Hello Yello Second Chance was born.
Anyone in Australia can donate inclusive or adaptive clothes to Hello Yello Second Chance at no cost. They just need to contact Hello Yello Clothing through our website and we will send them, at no charge, an Australia Post Express Post bag for them to send their clothes to Hello Yello Second Chance. We will then make sure that these clothes are sent to someone who will benefit from them.