IZ Collections have been a rare beacon of stylish light in the world of adaptive clothing for wheelchair users over the past several years. Their collections have been thoughtfully designed, high street comparable, well made, reasonably priced and promoted to wheelchair users as a market of stylish people, rather than lumpen sacks, on wheels.
Rare indeed, so it was dispiriting to see this announcement from IZ Collections a few days ago:
No explicit reason for cessation of business has been given but, having seen so many businesses set up in this market and not succeed over the eighteen years I have been a wheelchair user, I wonder again if the wheelchair-using, and even disability, market is simply too inherently diverse and geographically scattered to support any major business venture. And, if so, how depressing is that?
How possible will it ever be to provide affordable, good-looking, functional and necessary goods and services for any kind of special – in the widest of senses – needs if there simply is no mass market demand that translates potential purchasing power – often spoken of as the purple £££ – into actual purchases?
Without the existence of personal consumer demand and spending power, we get what’s necessary and (mostly) functional at high prices and with little regard to – assumed unnecessary – style.
Maybe that will change as the baby-boomers – the absolute consumer generation – continue to age and discover their own ‘special’ needs and the lack of assistance from government in servicing them.
For now, another promising company, IZ Collections, with great experience and good intent, disappears from the marketplace.
Note: IZ are selling off their stocks so click across to their site ASAP if you are interested in buying adaptive clothing. IZ Collections.