By  on April 1, 2009

Cooper Martin LLC is marrying the booming health care industry with the ailing fashion sector in a new line of pants for women and men who have limited mobility.

Launching in April, the pants will retail for $120, selling direct-to-consumers through cooper-martin.com and through its own catalogues. Made of organic cotton, the pants feature hidden zippers from top to bottom of both the inside and outside of each pant leg, making getting in and out of them easy, even with impediments like a knee brace.

“Those with limited mobility, whether temporary or permanent, have no options for easy-access, adaptive clothing that marry function, comfort and style,” said Sarah Lindholm, who was inspired to leave her career in law to found Cooper Martin three years ago after her boyfriend’s father had knee and hip replacement and didn’t leave his house for nine months because all he could wear was sweats. “We are offering a fresh, new product line of reliable classic khakis, fashionable wide-leg floor-skimming black pants and luxurious lounge pants, each discretely modified with hidden zippers, Velcro and ergonomic construction, which makes dressing so much easier.”

The company is marketing to hospitals and clinics, hoping they will recommend the product to patients recovering from orthopedic surgery, an accident or injury, or those with chronic conditions like multiple sclerosis.

For women, the pants come in size 4 to 14, and for men’s, sizes 32 to 42 are available. The bottom few inches of the pant replace the zipper with Velcro, so pants can be altered for length.

Based in Vail, Colo., Cooper Martin manufactures its pants outside Los Angeles and can turn product in three weeks. Lindholm has 500 pairs of pants ready for the initial launch. This summer she plans to expand into shorts and shirts.

Lindholm declined to project volume, but noted, “The market is really big. There are more than a million knee and hip replacement surgeries every year alone.”

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