Our Story

A picture of the cover of Sinead Burke's "Break the mould" book next to a sketch of Mauda's Frances Trousers, a pencil and a white card with the word "Mauda" printed in black.

Inspiration can come in many forms and at different times. It’s amazing how much we take for granted and how that can make us unaware of our surroundings. In the hope of listening to some football (that wasn’t even scheduled…), my husband ended up listening to an interview that was the turning point for what I was about to do next. The interviewee on this day was Sinead Burke and the topic was her newly released book: “Break the mould”.

Just like we choose different colour versions of a t-shirt we like, why not have the choice of different fastening and features that best adapt to our needs? It doesn’t seem right that body ability determines what we can wear. Fashion is an expression of one’s individuality. Above all, personal style should be the key aspect determining what we choose to wear.

Watching and reading Sinead’s account of the challenges she and thousands of people with disabilities face on a daily basis simply due to a lack of inclusive design thinking, made me determined to use my knowledge and skill towards creating a brand that provides women with choices to help them define their unique style. A one stop-shop for women, regardless of body ability, to pick a design they like and choose the version of that design that best suits their needs.

“More than breaking with outdated fashion concepts, Mauda is our contribution to help bring accessible fashion into the mainstream.”

Carla Darling

Fashion is more than clothing. It’s the expression of an identity. It reflects how we view ourselves and others. It affects how others perceive us. This is why accessible design isn’t a requirement for a few. It should be the baseline for design from the outset.

Mauda’s pieces reflect its founder’s background and influences, but taking into account what Sinead and several other people called out about fashion and inclusive design. Our clothes are designed with an accessibility hat on. Less fiddly fastenings and embellishments without EVER compromising on style. Simply accessible stylish fashion.

More than breaking with outdated fashion concepts, Mauda aims to help bring accessible fashion into the mainstream. In the meantime, we want to create a community where women are the common denominator. Not their bodies, or their abilities. Simply a brand for women. All women.

The name Mauda?  There’s no mystique, it’s a simple play on the Portuguese for fashion – Moda – Portuguese being my native language, with a little help from Elsie Maud Inglis.  She was a strong woman who offered her medical services as well as the services of other female doctors in hospitals during the First World War but was told to “go home and sit still”. Her response?  Amongst other things she formed the Scottish Women’s Hospitals providing support for British Allies. This attitude is what Mauda is all about. A challenge didn’t stop Inglis from doing what she believed in and it won’t stop us from creating unique accessible fashion for a unique style.