Vans has created a line of shoes made for the Autism community.
Vans has created sensory-inclusive shoes as a part of its Vans Autism Awareness Collection—the shoes are designed specifically for those on the Autism Spectrum and include details that keep “common sensory sensitivities” in mind. Vans is releasing the collection in anticipation of Autism Awareness Month this April; all of the shoes have been accredited as a Certified Autism Resource. The label will also be donating $100,000 of proceeds from the collection to the A.skate Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to teaching kids on the spectrum how to skateboard.
Vans has also made the collection age inclusive, with shoes for toddlers, children, and adults. The design of the shoes focus on senses of sight, sound and touch. For example, color palettes include calming blues and greens, touchable textures like velvet accents, and easy slip-on or velcro-fastening capabilities. Vans took extra efforts to avoid details that could overstimulate customers. In addition to creating the line of shoes, the brand has also created an accompanying line of t-shirts in the same color palettes.
Vans announced the collection on Twitter—immediately receiving messages of support from appreciative customers. Through this initiative, Vans could build a genuine community, according to a Gartner report, which may help the brand engage and educate consumers in the future.