Member Spotlight: Kalopsia Collective embraces neurodiversity
Scottish fashion and textiles manufacturer Kalopsia Collective is redefining workplace inclusivity through its approach to embracing neurodiversity.
By providing an environment where all employees are encouraged to be their authentic selves, the UKFT member has become a trailblazer in fostering a positive and supportive work culture. All three company directors at Kalopsia Collective are neurodiverse. Ali Jones, one of the company’s early directors, has found her neurodiversity quite difficult to navigate yet she presents as being the most creative of the three.
Kalopsia Collective co-director Adam Robertson said: “In general, we try to keep an open dialogue about things so people feel comfortable. We like to give people enough room to be themselves (as long as it doesn’t negatively affect anyone else). We will put things in place for anyone that requests something in particular. But it’s really more about creating an environment where everyone feels comfortable enough to ask for what they need.”
The company’s philosophy revolves around acknowledging that not every employee’s brain functions the same way, and traditional work setups might not be suitable for everyone. Kalopsia Collective has, therefore, implemented a range of initiatives to accommodate the unique needs of its workforce, regardless of whether they are neurotypical or neurodiverse.
Some key initiatives include:
- Clear Communication and Expectations: Kalopsia fosters open and honest communication, ensuring that expectations are well-defined and understood by all employees. This approach reduces unnecessary stress and anxiety and enables team members to work together effectively.
- Personalised learning and development: They invest in personalised training and development programs that cater to the strengths and interests of each employee, nurturing a culture of continuous growth and improvement.
- Flexible Working Arrangements: Kalopsia acknowledges that not everyone’s brain functions the same way, and desk-bound jobs may not be the best fit for everyone. Employees that have a desk-job have the freedom to choose where they work from and when. Allowing them to optimise their productivity and achieve a healthy work-life balance.
“In our experience, all of our best staff members have been people who felt like they couldn’t succeed in the industry because of their neurodiversity”, explained Adam. “They never needed any major changes to the working conditions, just space and time to figure out things their own way without worrying about being judged, mocked, or rushed.”
Kalopsia Collective is a registered social enterprise operating as a textiles product manufacturer in Dunfermline. Kalopsia supplies a range of clients from start ups to luxury brands with high quality, ethical and sustainable accessories and apparel from their standardised product collection ‘Assemble.’
The company said its focus on creating an inclusive and understanding work environment has proven very successful.
“Instead of overburdening employees with numerous adjustments, we prioritise granting individuals the time and space they need to learn and develop at a pace that is suitable for them,” added Adam. “Our commitment to embracing neurodiversity in the workplace is evident in the numerous benefits it brings to the company, including increased creativity, innovation, and employee satisfaction.”
Kalopsia Collective is a UKFT Member. Click on the link below to learn more about the UKFT membership: