Target recently introduced sensory-friendly pieces to their Cat & Jack clothing line for kids. The clothing, which is only available on Target.com, features flat seams, one-dimensional designs, and heat-transferred labels in place of tags. Each piece is modelled on an existing Cat & Jack item, with those minor adjustments made to help make them more comfortable for kids who are specifically prone to skin discomfort.
Target designer Stacey Monsen helped come up with the idea of the sensory-friendly line — along with her colleagues — based on conversations with customers. Stacey’s seven-year-old daughter also has autism, and is not yet potty-trained, so she knows the challenge and frustration of finding appropriate clothing in her daughter’s size. She was also looking to create pieces that combine function with style.
Stacey and other Target designers formed a volunteer group to do research outside of their regular roles, and then presented the proposal to Target’s Product Design & Development (PD&D) team. Julie Guggemos, senior vice president of PD&D, said that the clothing idea: “…fit Target’s philosophy of making sure all guests feel welcome and included, and we knew Cat & Jack was the perfect place to start. While it’s just a few pieces in the line, for some families, they’ll make a huge difference.”
Stacey explained that they further developed the clothing by speaking with special needs parents and organizations. “We learned that sensory-friendly apparel can mean different things for different people. For these pieces, we decided to start with our core tees and leggings, and address guests’ most common requests—like removing tags and embellishments that can irritate the skin. We also added more ease through the hip and a higher rise in our leggings to fit with diapers, if needed, for older kids.”
There are currently 21 pieces in the special Cat & Jack line, in sizes 2T-5T for toddlers, and XS-XL for bigger kids. All are affordable, with each priced at $7 or less.
Target plans to continue introducing more adaptive clothing for those with all different types of special needs.