Words by Colette Carr
TV presenter and model Sophie Morgan is no stranger to pushing UK retailers to be more inclusive and value disabled customers, but now she has taken her fight outside British shores and across the Atlantic.
The presenter who has challenged shops for a number of years over both access and visibility took her battle stateside, linking up with one of America’s top retailers to increase inclusion.
Supermarket Target’s clothing collection and window dressings may now feature Sophie’s patented “wheelchair design” that mannequins will sit on dressed in outfits made up of the shop’s clothes.
The Mannequal has already taken pride of place in stores including Adidas and Debenhams but the 33-year-old is now looking to widen the net and house the chair in shop windows more permanently.
Writing on Instagram from Minnesota, the Channel 4 host said: “Today I had the privilege of speaking to an audience filled with decision makers from the second biggest retailer in the States – Target! I spoke about disability representation and the inclusion revolution that is happening, about my Mannequal chair and changing the game. To be able to talk about creating the change I want to see and what I’ve done to create it… it was almost hard to believe it happened. I’ve worked so hard for this day. Target are incredible.”
Praising the business’ senior product designer Julieta Felix, Sophie wrote, “When women work together, and channel all our creative energy on a cause, all sorts of epic change can be created! Especially when this woman is leading the charge @julietafelix”.
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Representation of every body is not only the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do. Employment of disabled people drives productivity. Meeting our needs invites unlocks an untapped spending power. It’s time for an inclusion revolution. Thank you @Target for driving change and changing the game for disabled people. Can’t wait to see what’s next..🎯 – This is a wheelchair for a mannequin which I have designed and patented. A small step to big change in retail. – #inclusionrevolution #target #disability #representationmatters #wheelchairlife #wheelchairgirl #disabledandproud #universaldesign #snootyface #mannequin #mannequinchallenge @keepitvisual 🎯
As the process ramps up in the States, Sophie hopes to see the Mannequal make more appearances in Britain and more retailers actively encouraging the custom of disabled people.Get your copy of PosAbility Magazine