Product focus: Sally skirt
If you've been to our site before, you'll know we have a capsule collection of wardrobe must-haves. Each is named after a celebrated and/or hard-working woman.
A recent article in The Times about Milan Fashion Week highlighted pockets as a welcome trend.
"We have moaned about their absence in women’s clothes for so long. So let’s celebrate that, next season, so generously proportioned is the new pocket, we will be able to carry our packed lunches in them."
We personally couldn't agree more. Most of our garments have pockets and some of them really are generous enough to keep a packed lunch in. Pockets in skirts are always a joy to discover and they certainly feature in our dusky pink Sally skirt.
The skirt is designed to feel great against the skin, with an elasticated waist at the back for comfort and - of course - two pockets. It can be worn for work or play and is a great choice for the transition from the office to the bar. It's unashamedly girly, but can be worn with a plain black or white tee if you want to dress down. If you're a fan of the grunge look, some black boots and a cropped leather look jacket could be a winning look.
As with all of our garments, there are no internal labels. The wash care information is printed onto a sticker, which goes on the packaging, and the brand name and size are applied using a heat transfer. At £50, this is a versatile piece that can be paired with many other items of clothing. The front waist panel also adds a little support for your tum on those bloated days (we all have 'em).
Sally Darby is the founder of Mums Like Us, a support network for disabled mothers, which she started in April 2017. "I had recently been to the Women of the World festival at the Southbank," she recalls. "I’d been to a session about disability activism and asked the question to the panel, 'are there any support networks for disabled mums in the UK?' The answer seemed to be no.
"At the time I was mother to a baby and a 4 year old (they are now 2 and 6) I had felt isolated and lonely as a disabled mother and like the parenting world really failed to welcome disabled parents. I felt like the only disabled mum in the world. I knew there must be others out there and was desperate for some community. Eventually I decided to go for it and set up the FB group. Today it has 475 disabled mums in it who are incredibly supportive of one another."
The challenges of being a disabled mother
Sally realised that mainstream parenting doesn't always welcome disabled mums on both a practical and a logistical level. "Family ‘friendly’ spaces are frequently inaccessible," she explains. "Products are not created or marketed towards disabled parents (e.g. cots that can be accessed from a wheelchair) and many disabled parents feel judged and are treated differently from other parents. It seems surprising to many people that disabled mums exist."
An everyday weekend
Sally describes a typical weekend as similar to what any other family does but "meticulously planned". She asserts that, "If you plan and adapt it’s possible to parent perfectly well with the additional challenges of disability."
Sally enjoys exercise, such as yoga and walking, and loves listening to audio books and podcasts. "As part of my MS, I lost my vision and am now severely visually impaired so books are no longer an option in written form," she explains.
Sally also writes, particularly on the MLU blog and social platforms, and takes up speaking opportunities. For example, she recently spoke on the make motherhood diverse panel at Pregnant then Screwed live.
Confidence and community
Being part of a supportive community has made a great difference to Sally's experience of being a mother, increasing her confidence as it has done with the other members of Mums Like Us.
"I believe so strongly that disabled parents should be brought in to the mainstream because I see how well they do it," she states. "I am proud to be part of the community and to be parenting in the way I am bringing up children who are aware and respectful of diversity.