Downs Designs, a clothing line for people with Down syndrome

This is really cool: "Downs Designs." Snip from a post on Springwise:

When Karen Bowersox’s granddaughter was born with Down syndrome, she saw the challenges her mother faced trying to find clothes that fit her properly. After extensive research she still could not find any clothes made specifically for people with Down syndrome and so took matters into her own hands, launching her own fashion line Downs Designs.

The story Bowersox tells on the Downs Designs site of how all of this came together is really an interesting read.

(via Maria Popova)



  1. Nice story, and I applaud the initiative. 

    However, why does this company get a free pass when it comes to sourcing from Chinese factories? After all, many companies that purchase goods from Chinese factories are under enormous pressure to ensure their suppliers comply with Chinese law. Why not this one? 

    I see this sort of selective blindness over and over again. Companies that are involved in a good cause back home (or have a good reputation in the community that pushes other companies like Levi’s or Walmart to lift their game in China) are simply let off the hook. 
    There is no indication that Downs Design did any research on workplace or environmental conditions in the factories used. Or that they even cared about these issues. 

    I have no doubt, by the way, that the factories used do not comply with Chinese laws. 

    1. It appears from the article that other factories weren’t interested in retooling their line to make off-size clothes.

  2. I wish this lady had been unhappy with the Apple App store, maybe then we’d see more competition and hear a lot less whining. 

    Solving your own problems FTW!

  3. Boing Boing killed this site. This is great publicity for them, or at least it will be after they get it up & running again . A worthy cause and a super idea.

  4. nmg91:
    There is no indication you did any reading of the article.  Please get off your high horse.
    From the site:
    “I had also made arrangements for Jillian and I to visit the factories in China and see for ourselves where our clothes were being manufactured.
    So, after the Buddy Walk in August, Jillian and I headed to China to see the factories for ourselves and visit textile shops so we could choose the denim for jeans and pick the fabric for our shirts. Choosing fabric was very important. We wanted our clothes not only to be comfortable and fit properly, but to be stylish as well. Production started in September and was completed by year end. Delivery of our first order of the adult jeans and long- sleeve T-shirts arrived in January, 2011. Jillian completed the pattern work for the kids and teens jeans and T-shirts shortly thereafter and had them ready for production.”
    (underline is mine)

  5. Can someone comment on why is hard to find the right size for people with Down Syndrome? I’ve never had much contact with Down people, just some kids, but it never occured to me that clothes sizes could be a problem.

  6. From a link on the “Downs Designs” site:
    “People with Down syndrome tend to have short femur and humerus bones (the upper bones in the legs and arms), but simply hemming regular-size clothes doesn’t fix the problem. For a proper fit, the tapering for knees and elbows needs to be in a different spot. “

  7.  Snig, I read the article and still share nmg91’s high horse – while this entrepreneur is doing a good thing, she could do an even better thing  by perhaps sourcing from a factory that conformed to US labour ideals.  The bit you cited only indicates that they visited the Chinese factories to choose the fabric in person; no mention is made of how they feel about factory safety standards, child labour, overtime provision, etc.

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