Daption was created to produce functional yet fashionable clothing that allows people living with dementia to continue to dress with style and comfort. At Daption, we believe that people living with Alzheimer's and dementia related diseases have already had so much taken from them, but that the core of who they are remains. We hope to enable them to retain as much of their sense of self as possible.
Daption was born from the challenges experienced by its founder, Stefan Hawes, and his family in trying to find high quality, comfortable, and good looking adaptive clothing for his mother, Clair Hawes.
Clair was a respected psychologist who took great care with her appearance and the clothes she wore. Clair was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and when she began to lose her mobility the nurses suggested that the family get her some adaptive clothes. The family had great difficult finding her something appropriate. We wanted to find her items that she would have been happy to wear when she was healthy, only with adaptive features, but we couldn’t find them. What we were able to find was low quality clothes made with uncomfortable fabrics that were very unstylish. We decided to fix this. We believe that the essence of the individual with Dementia is still a part of that person, even as their memory fades. We’ve experienced it again and again. And we believe that people with dementia should be able to retain their dignity to the greatest extent possible. We feel that dressing in clothing that is comfortable, stylish and functional is one of those things that can help them to retain that dignity.
The team at Daption are not fashion designers, nor do they intend to be. The goal of Daption is not to create fashion, but rather to create great adaptive clothing that enables people with dementia to live with dignity. To that end, our focus has been to find great looking existing designs and to then adapt them to the needs of our end users. We began by finding a selection of designs that are popular with well dressed women. We then worked with a group of designers to find the best possible ways to adapt these items for the specific needs of people with dementia. We did this by reviewing the existing functionality available, but also by having extensive conversations with professional caregivers to find out what they would like to see in the products. After many rounds of sample creation we arrived at a set of clothes that were good enough to be tested in action by a partner Memory Care facility. We wanted to ensure that the clothes looked and felt good for the end user and their aides, but that the clothes could also stand up to the industrial cleaning that takes place in those facilities. We took their extensive feedback and revised and improved the products until they were good enough to be put into everyday use. What you find on Daption.com today is the result of that extensive process.
We are constantly on the search for new ways to make great, functional and stylish adaptive clothes. If you’d like to have input on functional improvements, or just a style that you’d like to see made in an adaptive way, please go to our Suggest a Garment page. There you can vote on which products we should make, or even recommend your own.
Why "Daption" and the bird logo?
Daption was originally a portmanteau of Adaptive and Fashion. But we liked the name because it also reminded us of words like “adaptation”, “dapper” and “action”. It also happens to be the name of an ocean bird, the Cape Petrel of the Southern Ocean. And, since the founder and his mother were both raised on the West Coast of Canada, this blending of the sea and the freedom of birds resonated with him.