UCQC Inclusive

DEVELOPMENT OF A FASHIONABLE JACKET FOR PEOPLE WITH MOBILITY IMPAIRMENT

The project

It started at an international fashion workshop four years ago in Ljubljana where Maja Simunovic Fashion designer and Hedvig af Ekenstam Industrial designer met and got touched by the story of young Katarina.
Katarina was in a car accident early years and became tetraplegic. She is in wheelchair but strives to be as independent as possible, also when it comes to dressing. Hedvig and Maja realised there is a real need to rethink mainstream fittings and open up for new standards, material combinations and inclusive designs for people like Katarina with physical restrictions.

Maja Simunovic (Croatia)

Senior fashion designer, interested in making fashionable and functional clothes for disabled people. Maja graduated from the Faculty of Textile technology, Zagreb, Croatia. She has more than 10 years’ experience working as a designer and as head of the design department. She is also co-founder of the brand Roba. 

Hedvig Af Ekenstam (Slovenia)

Senior product designer with a background in textiles. She aims to create fashionable clothes for people with disabilities. She graduated in Industrial design at Konstfack Stockholm. Currently she focuses on product design and textile design boundaries and she is participating in the development of Hedra, clothes for elderly people. 

STORYTELLING

THE IDEA:

We both love problem solving! This common interest together with our specific expertise brought us to an international Design (dis)ability workshop in Ljubljana. Through a girl named Katarina, we were introduced to the idea of designing clothes for people with disabilities. We got conscious of her different needs and challenges in life. With our knowledge and previous experience, Maja fashion designer and Hedvig UX designer and by close work with Katarina, we saw an opportunity to solve problems for many other people with the same need and challenges as her.

THE BIRTH OF THE PROJECT:

After the workshop, Maja helped Hedvig with development and production for a fashion
collection targeting elderly. Soon U.C.Q.C. (Unique Comfort Quality Clothes), was born,
as we felt a need to proceed with clothes for people with disabilities and to brainstorm a
collection of functional urban garments. Soon we applied with the idea to Worth project.
Within Worth partnership project we have got the opportunity to develop these specific
functional urban garments further and the brand UCQC. Our network of potential users
are the inspiration and force for the innovation and development. They are hard to
please, both in comfort but even more in look!

THE CREATIVE PROCESS:

As in all creative processes we have our ups and downs. Thrilled while designing, troubled
to find the right fabric, getting the prototype ready, excited to try them on our users. But not
all is simple, we made a first set of prototypes, met with our users, and realized that none
of them would fit. But then we met Marko, 30 years in wheelchair with the same pair of
trousers and he was thrilled. This gave us hope and strength to continue. Our work is
closely connected with our users, and without their feedback we cannot get far. It is nice to
collaborate and hear their needs and then create a garment that may ease their everyday
life and make them smile..

THE COLLABORATION:

Excellent thing is when people from various backgrounds share different knowledge,
experiences, so together make it possible to reach the results one would never do alone.
In our duo, Hedvig, designer with focus in problem solving, user tests and Maja, fashion
designer who get the idea, to a sketch, fabrics and a final product. It is essential to share
ideas, doubts, work… a constant back up though a complex design and production
process.

THE FUTURE:

Web page, Brand strategy and Visual identity for UCQC is made. Now we focus on
getting a final feedback from our users. Do they like our products, the look and function?
What are they ready to pay? The next important step is to get us visible for a larger
audience. Tools as a webpage with video, product photos visual identity. Blog with and
about users and stories to inspire and build trust within our society.
Develop potential web for sale- online on our web shop, and on other web shops too.
Find reliable and acceptable fabric and accessories suppliers, go into development of
sizes, negotiate good production price. Settle simple and efficient logistics. To get to
these goals the next step of investment would be highly welcomed.

THE MESSAGE:

To join forces to reach outcomes, we would never be able to do alone. To learn from each other and to develop together has been crucial. Within Worth project we got also the
valuable access to useful and focused learning material. Deadlines and goals have
supported our projects growth. Although the pandemic has shaken our plans to present
UCQC on Design trade fair, we have to be patient now, and wait for new opportunities to
open.

PARTNERSHIP PROJECTS

Tagenea

Tagenea

Seamless

Seamless

Common Sands 2.0

Common Sands 2.0

Maretech

Maretech

Minois

Minois

STEM a garment production brand

STEM a garment production brand

Storytelling Garment Project

Storytelling Garment Project

Mapu Preto

Mapu Preto

Minta

Minta

NO/thing

NO/thing

Modifiable Vegan Bag Collection

Modifiable Vegan Bag Collection

In the Circle

In the Circle

Clotho

Clotho

Make Your Bed

Make Your Bed

Vibro-Tactile Textiles

Vibro-Tactile Textiles

LÈBIU – let’s CORK it

LÈBIU – let’s CORK it

WeAr Design

WeAr Design

Fresko

Fresko

ALMA

ALMA

Bubble Façade

Bubble Façade

Crossing Parallels

Crossing Parallels

EnaOna

EnaOna

Sense of nature

Sense of nature

Rethinking the Bra

Rethinking the Bra

Manual bag

Manual bag

Nova Underwear

Nova Underwear

Sensing Color

Sensing Color

Dimmenso

Dimmenso

Beaggie

Beaggie

Soft touch of industrial waste

Soft touch of industrial waste

Time of your Light

Time of your Light

H|H

H|H

Vibrant-barrier-free glassware collection

Vibrant-barrier-free glassware collection

Edge Chair

Edge Chair

Marbled Salts

Marbled Salts

Moseanic

Moseanic

Kombucha TSUGI

Kombucha TSUGI

LiLO

LiLO

The Eastern Side of Riviera

The Eastern Side of Riviera

Future Wardrobe

Future Wardrobe

Ventri

Ventri

Bi-Circular Urban-Outdoor Fabric

Bi-Circular Urban-Outdoor Fabric

Step Smart

Step Smart

Re-Print Ceramics

Re-Print Ceramics

Vivid

Vivid

A Phyne Bomber Jacket

A Phyne Bomber Jacket

Burning For

Burning For

Circular workwear collection

Circular workwear collection

Tista

Tista

Fashion Design Courses

Fashion Design Courses

Velluto

Velluto

New Matters

New Matters

RemBrandt

RemBrandt

Agogic – Be prepared for more

Agogic – Be prepared for more

Smartcoat

Smartcoat

Mocha Split

Mocha Split

Reframd

Reframd

Zerobarracento

Zerobarracento

ALLCA Disruptive Rugs

ALLCA Disruptive Rugs

Wearable Play

Wearable Play

Wear-Abouts Baltic Sea

Wear-Abouts Baltic Sea

Gelatex x NO/AN

Gelatex x NO/AN

Luxury Bag Collection

Luxury Bag Collection

Amalgama

Amalgama

TTorch

TTorch

From the ground

From the ground

Biolea

Biolea

Ultra

Ultra

Capsule coat project

Capsule coat project

Mayya x WORTH

Mayya x WORTH

The Space Between

The Space Between

Rustic Wool Robotuft

Rustic Wool Robotuft

Cartiera & SwIdeas present: Change!

Cartiera & SwIdeas present: Change!

Fish_Fish

Fish_Fish

Common Sands

Common Sands

UCQC Inclusive

UCQC Inclusive

Gabriella Veszpremi X Inpelsa

Gabriella Veszpremi X Inpelsa

Mowo

Mowo

i-Morfé

i-Morfé

Iguaneye

Iguaneye

Ruumy

Ruumy

Fugazi Fugazi

Fugazi Fugazi

Serisole

Serisole

The light around your life

The light around your life

The Hemp Chair

The Hemp Chair

Senss

Senss

Walkytalkies

Walkytalkies

Sole sustainability

Sole sustainability

A Warm, Light, Luxurious, Sustainable Cloak

A Warm, Light, Luxurious, Sustainable Cloak

Spell My Name

Spell My Name

The “Bib” chair

The “Bib” chair

Materia Bruta

Materia Bruta

Modern Knitwear

Modern Knitwear

3D knitwear on demand

3D knitwear on demand

Lit Lace Interface

Lit Lace Interface

iluTex

iluTex

Sukka 

Sukka 

PineSkins Soft Wall Tiles

PineSkins Soft Wall Tiles

Unmoist Raincoat

Unmoist Raincoat

IOT Jacket & Robot

IOT Jacket & Robot

Stars Collection

Stars Collection

Words that shimmer

Words that shimmer

Persona

Persona

NO1R

NO1R

Identity 560

Identity 560

Øjenfryd

Øjenfryd

The Ghost Bag

The Ghost Bag

Diluci bags

Diluci bags

M2M furniture (Made 2 Measure Furniture)

M2M furniture (Made 2 Measure Furniture)

Myhand Prosthetic Socket

Myhand Prosthetic Socket

Oceanwear

Oceanwear

t-Studio – 3D fashion design network

t-Studio – 3D fashion design network

Curve

Curve

Baltabalta Multifunctional Textiles

Baltabalta Multifunctional Textiles

Fashion Designing for an Inclusive World

Fashion Designing for an Inclusive World

‘Parameter’ Table

‘Parameter’ Table

Occay

Occay

Make and Create

Make and Create

ERGOVI – healthy multiposture chair

ERGOVI – healthy multiposture chair

PreemieCme

PreemieCme

Second Life Bag

Second Life Bag

Clayer

Clayer

Lulu V2

Lulu V2

Fishskinlab

Fishskinlab

Dynaback

Dynaback

Esther Hates PVC

Esther Hates PVC

Gardin

Gardin

Foldable High Heels

Foldable High Heels

Sustainable Acoustic Panels

Sustainable Acoustic Panels

Edbora Collection

Edbora Collection

Smart Heated Vest

Smart Heated Vest

ACDL Artisan Chausseur Design Lab

ACDL Artisan Chausseur Design Lab

Smart Life Jacket In Watersport

Smart Life Jacket In Watersport

Fragments Garments

Fragments Garments

Hollow: A Lie Story

Hollow: A Lie Story

FWN: Family Wear Nature

FWN: Family Wear Nature

Himaero “The Emotional Jewel”

Himaero “The Emotional Jewel”

Spellbound

Spellbound

Wear Pure

Wear Pure

Connextyle

Connextyle

Unlimited in 1

Unlimited in 1

Paramatrix

Paramatrix

Feel More Knitwear

Feel More Knitwear

Skarabeos 2

Skarabeos 2

Twill

Twill

Fashionable Wearable Camera Accessory

Fashionable Wearable Camera Accessory

‘Margarete’ – Cork Task Chair

‘Margarete’ – Cork Task Chair