Primark releases new adaptive clothing range with research from RiDC

Three women wearing black bras and knickers looking into the camera against a dark red background. Two women on the left are standing and one woman on the right is sitting on top of a red block the same colour as the background
24 Jan 2024

Primark: Bringing accessible clothing to the high street

Budget high street retailer, Primark, came to us for insight into disabled people’s attitudes to and experiences of adaptive clothing.  They wanted to understand the importance of adaptive clothing to disabled people, and any barriers to them being able to buy it.

We conducted a survey of more than 800 members of our consumer panel.  We found:

  • 62% of disabled shoppers find it difficult to find clothes that they feel happy and comfortable in because of their disability or health condition
  • And although three in four (77%) say adaptive clothing is essential to, or significantly improves, their quality of life, only a quarter (25%) currently wear it
  • Affordability and accessibility are key barriers for disabled people as more than a third (36%) find adaptive clothing very expensive
  • A quarter (24%) opt to buy non-adaptive clothing and alter it for their needs instead.

Charlie Magadah-Williams, Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Primark, said:

“Primark was founded with the ambition of making fashion more affordable for everyone, and that means representing and responding to the different needs of all our customers.

“As we’ve grown, our ranges have expanded and we’re proud to be taking specialist products that are typically more expensive and only available online, and offering them at affordable prices on the high street. Our first adaptive lingerie collection has been two years in the making but we’ve got big ambitions to go further. This is more than a new range for us – it’s the start of looking at how we are supporting our disabled customers and colleagues and understanding what more we can do to make Primark a more accessible place to work and shop.”

The retailer has launched a four-piece adaptive lingerie collection in black that features a bra, bralette, briefs and period pants, all with magnetic closures.  The range will be available in 64 stores.

Our research also revealed that more than half of disabled people (55%) regularly avoid shopping in clothing stores generally as they often find it a difficult and challenging experience.

  Alongside the new adaptive lingerie collection, Primark will review its stores and operations to look at ways it can provide a better service and more welcoming experience for disabled customers and colleagues.

“This is first piece of research we’ve done for a fashion retailer,” said CEO of RiDC, Gordon McCullough.  “Clothing is such an essential part of every day life, and of people being able to express themselves, that we hope to see more brands coming to us to understand how they can make both their products and their stores more inclusive of disabled people.”