As I’ve become more interested in sustainable fashion and changing my spending habits I’ve come across more sustainable fashion brands. But what has also struck me is that many of these brands don’t have inclusive sizing.
When I have spoken about this topic with people I have been met with “this doesn’t affect you so why are you bothered”. Plenty of issues going on in the world don’t directly affect us all but that doesn’t mean we should keep quiet. Change comes about by us all coming together.
The average UK women’s size is 16 but many brands stop at a 14 – where is the logic here? Back in 2016 the plus size industry in the UK was worth around £6.44bn. The value is expected to increase to roughly £9.03bn by 2022 (Statista).
Some big name brands like ASOS have a more inclusive range -ASOS have Curve- which goes to show that there is a demand for it. However, finding an inclusive sizing range that is also environmentally friendly isn’t always that easy.
Reasons brand say they don’t have inclusive sizing
It does cost a brand more to produce sustainable clothing than it does non-sustainable.
More of a financial risk
Many sustainable brands are independently owned. Firstly, this means they don’t have the financial backing that a big name brand does. And secondly they may not be able to afford the expense and take the risk of launching a wider sizing range to test the market. Adding sizes which may end up not selling is a huge gamble.
Who does have an inclusive size range?
Girlfriend Collective uses recycled plastic to produce activewear like leggings, sports bras, tanks and tees. Their packing is also 100% recycled and recyclable. Visit their ‘about’ page and you will see they provide a very thorough and transparent breakdown on how items are manufactured. Their sizing covers XXS to 6XL
Levi’s produce sizes up to 4X. The brands jeans and jackets are made from responsibly sourced cotton and Lyocell or recycled denim. As well as sourcing more sustainable materials they are also finding ways to reduce water consumption.
Mara Hoffman is well known for its aim to manufacture garments with care and reduce environmental impact. In addition to this the brand features sizing from XXS to 3X. Via the ‘Our Approach’ tab on the website you can find out about the manufacturing processes, materials used and the organisations they partner with as they work towards achieving their sustainability goals.
If you’re looking for sustainably made denim then DL1961 are you for you. The family-owned business offers jeans in sizes UK 6 to UK 24. DL1961 say that a regular pair of jeans takes around 1,500 gallons of water to manufacture. However, a pair of DL1961 jeans uses less than 10. The brand recycle and treat 98% of the water they use via a state-of-the-art water recycling system.
What you can do
Brands need to do more to acknowledge the need for inclusive sizing. So with this in mind if you notice that a brand doesn’t stock your size then bring it up with them and send them an email or contact them via social media. Making them aware that there is a demand can only be a positive step.