Oh Josh!20.02.2023 Local News, Local News, NewsUpdate
Victoria Martin has launched a sweatshirt collection that showcases individuals with disabilities in a vibrant manner. Her brother is a key figure in this endeavor. “People with disabilities don’t always just walk around in sweatpants. They should feel beautiful,” says Victoria Martin, Joshua’s big sister. She created the upbeat, colourful sweatshirts to give disabled people a “voice” in society, to make them visible in a modern, cheerful way – and above all, not on the pity track, she emphasises.
Victoria is not a fashion designer by profession. She studies political science in Lausanne and has since long thought about Joshua’s future. “Joshua has an autism spectrum disorder, he is very sociable, he likes people and people like him,” says Victoria. “However, his development is not that of an 18-year-old.” And that’s exactly the problem: Joshua is 18 and leaving the school he has attended so far. Away from the protected environment in which he was supported. And that’s when Victoria came up with the idea of inclusive fashion. To show that Josh and his mates are like everyone else, they want to enjoy the company of others, go out and have fun. They want to work and take responsibility. She designed the logo herself. “It should be a cool name. Because I wanted non-disabled people actually to wear the sweatshirt and not just buy it to support a good cause and then put it away in the closet.”
With her “Oh Josh” project, Victoria doesn’t just put focus on people with disabilities. Part of the income from each shirt goes to the Dauphins&Handicap association in Château-d’Oex, aiming to give people with disabilities moments of happiness through contact with dolphins. Moments in which the otherwise experienced difference no longer matters. “With the sale of the sweaters, I support associations that, like me, are committed to inclusion. So far, it’s only one, but I hope I can support other projects in the future, “says Victoria.
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