Our Story

ADAPTISTA is the freshest adaptive fashion marketplace, bringing stylish designs from the top designers direct to your door.

 

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Maria Abeyratne - Founder and Co-Director

I am a fashion design and garment technology student based in London and an avid lover of sport.  

 

I have competed in sports all my life, including 11 years as part of the young rider dressage team, triathlons as well as full and half marathons. I was a terrible mountain biker too! The highlight of my career was winning the overall title at British Young Rider Dressage Festival in 1998.

 

All my life I have suffered with chronic pain, but was always told it was "wear and tear of the daily equestrian activities" completely unaware that I had an invisible illness. My health took a turn in 2015, and I was eventually diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis, a rare and painful autoimmune condition which causes degeneration and fusion of the sacroiliac, hips and spine, as well as spinal osteoarthritis, nerve pain, and all of the wide ranging side effects of the condition. There is no cure for the disease.

I have found easy access clothing incredibly difficult to find, and the more research I completed, the more frustrating it became. I founded Adaptista through my love of fashion and my desire to make adaptive clothing more accessible for the people living with long term illness, disabilities and the elderly. I am a vocal advocate for disability and chronic illness and hope to encourage the designers of the future to create beautiful and exciting adaptive clothing, footwear and accessories by listening to the voices and real needs of the adaptive community and making small changes to their collections to become more inclusive.

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Jonathan Abeyratne - Chief Financial Officer and Co-Director

I am a chartered accountant with over 10 years’ experience within finance. My role focuses on overseeing the company’s financial operations.

 

Having worked within professional services, banking and more recently data and analytics, I took the bold step of working with Maria to start Adaptista with the aim of making clothing more inclusive for people with disabilities, the elderly or those suffering with chronic pain. I believe that fashion should not be categorised and should be inclusive for everyone.

I am a passionate champion for inclusion and, with my brother who suffered from mental health issues (and who has sadly passed away) I have seen first-hand how people with disabilities or illnesses can be adversely affected in terms of accessibility to services.

In my spare time I like to exercise, particularly running outdoors (slowly) and swimming. I also enjoy a night in watching a movie or binge watching the latest tv show.

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