The government announced on 3 December, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, that it is recruiting a new fashion disability champion to help tackle the issues disabled people face as consumers.

Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work Sarah Newton said: “There are nearly 14 million disabled people living in the UK, and our world-leading fashion industry must ensure it is capitalising on the spending power of their households – ‘the purple pound’ – worth £249 billion every year.

“Our new champion will promote the commercial benefits of inclusive design which can improve brand loyalty in a highly competitive market, while also ensuring that disabled people can follow the latest trends like everyone else.”

The champion is expected to use their influential status as a leader in the fashion industry to highlight the need for more inclusive clothing ranges and promote the work of designers in this field.

Clothing that takes disabled people’s needs into account can be difficult to find, and many fashion retailers are missing out on the custom of a fifth of the population who have a disability or long-term health condition, reports the government.

The new champion will join the existing 14 champions who are already driving improvements to the accessibility of services and facilities in a range of sectors, including banking, music and tourism.

Completed expressions of interest must be returned by midnight on 13 January 2019.