Hello Yello Clothing was ‘officially’ created in early 2018. But its true beginning was months earlier, inspired by my sister during her final stages of a terminal illness.
The illness didn’t come as a complete surprise. My beautiful, vibrant and funny sister had lived a full life with a rare form of cancer for almost twenty years. We all lived with the hope that she would continue to do so into her old age. But in 2016 she became critically ill. She fought a remarkable battle and lived for a further 16 months.
During this time my sister experienced a number of difficulties finding clothes that she could wear comfortably with her medical equipment, that allowed her to dress independently and that she also liked.
My sister had a PICC line which made putting tops on and off difficult. She also had a G–tube coming from her stomach. As a result, she couldn’t wear conventional pyjamas as the tube from her stomach would get caught on the waist band of the pyjama bottoms.
So I decided to shop around! I confidently told my sister I would be able to find pyjamas on the internet that would fit her needs – after all you can find anything on the internet. A simple slit in the side of the pyjama bottoms for her tube to pass through would have solved the problem. I was not able to find a pair of pyjamas that fitted her needs. I tried to adapt a few pairs of pyjamas for her, without much success. But pyjama design was only one part of my sister’s wardrobe which needed a rethink.
She would have also appreciated T-shirts and tops that she could put on without having to remove her IV every time – little things that would have made getting dressed so much easier.
We were astounded. Finding clothing that was not only practical but that my sister actually liked was a major struggle. During our search, we became even more surprised by the lack of clothing that was available for people who did not ‘fit the norm’ more generally.
Sure, my sister had a rare condition. We could understand why it was difficult to find clothing for her. But we couldn’t understand why there was such a lack of options for people from larger groups – such as people who use a wheelchair, those with PICCS and ports, and people with dexterity issues who find buttons and zippers difficult. These people must make up a significant portion of the global clothing market, surely?
Yes… Hello Yello Clothing has been created in honour of my sister. But it is also in honour of those who have similar logistical clothing challenges. It is time that everyone has the opportunity to present themselves to the world with the ease, dignity and style they deserve.
To Be Yourself !