GAMUT Management, a game changer in the adaptive space

It’s a story forged in the cauldron of perseverance and necessity. GAMUT management (GAMUT) was born from a labor of love that began with its founder and CEO Mindy Scheier, a fashion designer by trade who saw her son born with muscular dystrophy trying to find clothes to suit his needs. Recognizing that the need went far beyond her child, she embarked on a journey to revolutionize the fashion industry and highlight the beauty, worth and economic opportunity of the world’s largest minority. From his initial work initiating and developing the Runway of Dreams Foundation, his vision grew and GAMUT Management emerged.

Since its creation, GAMUT Management has become the first consulting and talent management company working with and for people with disabilities (PWD). GAMUT continues to position itself as a pioneer in this space by partnering with companies such as Kohl’s Victoria’s Secret and LVMH among many others to find a greater level of authenticity with which to engage and create products for People with Disabilities. Also serving as a talent management company, GAMUT has the expertise to engage in the recruitment, management and development of talent for people with disabilities exclusively.

Today marks the 32nd anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Due to this momentous occasion, GAMUT felt compelled to announce a tool that has been in development for several years that is destined to redefine the landscape of the adaptive market and establish a level of trust essential to its long-term growth. The GAMUT™ Seal of Approval is the next evolution in codifying the true definition of what it means for a product to be called Adaptive. The GAMUT seal provides a mark to signify a level of authenticity and inclusion throughout the process from the design, development and marketing aspect of the product to signify it as a truly adaptive product that meets the needs of people with disabilities on the market. The GAMUT seal was created to reassure consumers of compliance with a rigorous set of requirements developed by experts in the field of disability. Throughout their work, GAMUT has continually heard feedback from members of the disability community questioning the authenticity of brands entering the adaptive market. It’s time for companies to have a real metric to measure if they are meeting community standards and ultimately creating a level of brand loyalty that is essential for those who want to compete in the space.

With the adaptive clothing market currently valued at over $400 billion, brands need to start thinking seriously about this vertical. Having a set of criteria and a process for companies to apply for evaluation and approval of their products is a game-changer. It communicates a level of quality and commitment to the broader disability community that businesses recognize the value and need for inclusive merchandise. As the disability economy continues to grow, the GAMUT™ Seal of Approval will become a benchmark that all businesses entering this space should aspire to.

While today’s seal announcement is associated with the anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the first product to officially receive the seal will be an adaptive backpack from adidas Accessories at the end of this calendar year. This serves as a tipping point illustrating that adidas Accessories management recognizes the enormity of this market opportunity and the need to get it right. The power of the seal offers a next-level approach to legitimizing the ability of businesses to engage in the adaptive space and highlighting disability economics as real value.

For those who regularly read this column, you know that much of the writing often comes from an observation post. However, in this case, I am writing from the perspective of the participating observer. As someone with lived experience of disability, I have vivid memories of my mother taking me shopping for pants, shirts, and the most dreaded experience of all, shoes. It was never pleasant; I remember trying to find things that were easy to button or close with one hand or to have shoes that fit my orthotics. To be honest, it was a total disaster, and I often felt completely deflated after one of those outings. Even today, it’s still a bit complicated to find the right clothes and accessories to meet my personal and professional needs. From my perspective, while the GAMUT™ Seal of Approval offers both a greater level of authenticity and trust, it offers something more, a level of accountability that is fundamental. The impact of adapted products goes far beyond aesthetics, it is a message to society that we, the disability community, belong. We can be an active and vibrant part of everyday life and be proud of who we are. GAMUT Management is an agent of change that helps redefine the cultural landscape we live in today and envision the possibility of what can be.

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