loading
drag

Averee is revolutionising the retail experience for people living with disability and the effects of ageing

IMAGE VIA AVEREE

WORDS BY JANICE NG

“There is nowhere on the planet that we can find that is currently offering this service.”

It probably goes without saying that people who are living with disability often get left behind when it comes to fashion and just about everything else. Yes, many industries have made significant changes over the last few years, but it’s clear that there’s so much more to be done when it comes to including this sector of society.

After witnessing how often people living with disabilities (and also those living with the effects of ageing) endure a demeaning shopping experience, Brent Dankesreither set out to change this for good. The result of this mission was Averee, an inclusive online store for all abilities that was launched earlier this month.


Keen to learn more about inclusion in the fashion industry? Check out our Fashion vertical. 


“Our CEO, Brent Dankesreither, really is the inspiration that brought this to life. Brent is a full-time carer for his young son who has multiple different disabilities,” says Chief Customer Officer Anna McDonald, who’s been with the brand since the beginning. “Why I’m so passionate about this business is that Brent is living the customer journey for us.”

Brent’s struggle to shop for products and services for his son was part of the reason why Averee was born. It’s described as an inclusive online marketplace for people of all abilities, and it really does mean everyoneCarrying a host of premium and practical products, Averee’s aim is for people to find what they need without a focus on the limitations that come with their disabilities. 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Averee (@averee_official)

“We want to encourage anybody however they may show up or however they may define themselves, to come to the site regardless of age, gender, ability – anything – and shop adaptive products through a world-class experience,” Anna explains. 

“Brent really wanted to turn that [demeaning shopping experience] on its head and create a place that anybody could come and buy in a great uplifting environment.”

Although the fashion industry has evolved in recent years when it comes to accessible fashion, it still has a long way to go. Too often functionality is seen as being more important than aesthetics when it comes to accessible fashion, meaning that disabled people often can’t wear the designs they desire.

We all want to look good, so why place limitations on those living with disability? Why do many accessible fashion brands still consider aesthetics as an afterthought? Feeling good because of the clothing you wear is something that applies to everyone and it’s a sentiment that Anna wants to emphasise. 

“Fashion – or what I call clothing for this market – was functional but lacked beauty and design aesthetic. What the research we’ve conducted [concluded] is that people want to feel good, because when we look good and feel great about ourselves, that brings positivity to our self-esteem. We all want to look good regardless of whether we have differences of ability or not,” Anna explains.

However, the ultimate goal for Averee, Anna explains, is to reduce the stress that comes with navigating complex schemes such as the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme). One way it’s done this is by providing a bank of resources unpacking the different facets of the NDIS. Education is a crucial part of the brand’s mission, as education ensures that people living with disabilities are equipped with the right tools to live their best lives. 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Averee (@averee_official)

Even through the tinny speaker of my phone, the passion in Anna’s voice is infectious. It’s plainly obvious that Averee is a brand with strong values and a desire for people with disabilities to achieve what they want without barriers.

But Anna is quick to admit that there’s still a long way to go. With that in mind, what are the next steps for the brand?

“We’re not trying to pretend that everything’s perfect today, it’s a journey that we’re building [and] a community,” Anna says matter-of-factly. “We want our community to be part of this journey with us. The people that provide our products form part of the community as well as the customers.

“We’ve started off supplying products and will refine that process as we go along, and in the next step of our business, we’re going to bring in services. There is nowhere on the planet that we can find that is currently offering this service.”

Shop Averee here

Lazy Loading