The world’s first inclusive online marketplace has just launched, and we honestly can’t believe it’s taken this long.
The market has always been in need of more inclusivity. In recent years, conversations surrounding inclusive fashion and beauty brands have become more and more frequent, forcing companies to rethink their brand values, offerings and representation.
But one market that has been left on the back burner is inclusive products for people with disabilities, mobility challenges and the effects of ageing.
We’ve seen products come into the market that cater towards this demographic, such as a newly-designed packaging for a Rexona deodorant, designed specifically for those with mobility challenges, but we haven’t seen a marketplace, company or brand that specialises only in products like this.
And it’s not as though there isn’t a need for one.
Full-time carer Brent Dankesreither, certainly saw a need, so he started up Averee.
Averee curates premium and practical products in one destination, spanning adaptive fashion, homewares that assist with mobility challenges, grooming products that make personal care equally accessible and luxurious, technology and more.
“There were many options available to support the therapeutic needs of caring for my son, but nothing to help me build his self-esteem. His own self-worth and belief in his abilities had been eroded by the various negative responses he received as a result of his disability, and it was vital to help build up his confidence,” Dankesreither tells The Latch.
“Without self-esteem, I don’t believe anyone can be a productive member of society and live their best life. This mattered greatly to me because that’s what I want for my son. When I stopped working to become my son’s full-time carer, I met with many other parents who felt the same way. The mixture of my professional and life experiences is what inspired Averee.”
Averee is elevating the retail experience for a community of people who are often met with sterile and medicalised shopping experiences, where functionality overrides style and beauty and honestly, that’s just not fair. Everyone deserves to feel beautiful and special when online shopping for themselves, it’s an act of self-care that shouldn’t be exclusive.
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One of the reasons that this kind of marketplace hasn’t emerged sooner is the difficulty in sourcing all the products. Sourcing products is always a time-consuming task, as you have to make sure that the products are keeping with yours and your consumer’s values, as well as being high in quality, functionality and aesthetic appearance.
“When sourcing products for Averee, we start with the customer’s needs, so that every interaction they have during the day has the potential to be uplifting. We then search the world for products that meet the functional need without compromising on style,” Dankesreither explains.
“At the beginning, when we contacted the sellers and offered them to join, the majority thought what we were doing was much needed and readily joined. Now, we are increasingly getting tips from customers and sellers of wonderful products contacting us directly.”
After a little bit of research, Dankesreither noticed that a lot of NDIS and Home Care Package funding went unspent. NDIS and Home Care Package funding is provided to improve the health and wellbeing of people living with disabilities or the effects of ageing, so it can be really important to their lives that they use their funding in the best way possible.
“Averee’s range curates both the premium and practical products from around the world in one destination, spanning adaptive fashion, homewares, personal care, technology and more. We make it easier for people of all abilities to find what they need in a single destination to help customers get the most out of their NDIS and My Aged Care funding.”
One person who is relieved to see something like Averee pop up in the market is Alanna Washington, who is a full-time carer for her son, who has autism.
“The previous lack of inclusive shopping is disappointing and often disheartening as it’s already a challenging time having a needs child who feels very different themselves. Many products out there are oftentimes dated, poorly designed and/or not aesthetically pleasing, which is why an online marketplace like Averee is so important for those living with a disability or experiencing the effects of ageing.” Alanna tells The Latch.
“Averee benefits our family by connecting us with well made and designed products that will add to our son’s home life and comfort levels. My son, Lloyd, is very sensory focussed and likes to be involved in the products we choose for him and the online marketplace is something he will thoroughly enjoy looking at and purchasing from.”