A vicious cycle happens in fashion – most new brands don’t have a customer base to develop sizes with so they turn to “standard size” guides for their patterns (which are surprisingly often based on sizing that was developed decades ago – some drafting manuals used today actually date back to the 70s and 80s!). Then because they only produce a limited size range designed for an “hourglass figure”, only women who fit that size can shop with them and that becomes their customer base. The brand might adjust fits slightly based on feedback, but it requires a lot of work and risk for brands to completely change or add fits and sizes so most will just stick with what they’re already doing.
On the consumer side I constantly hear in messages and comments on my videos and instagram about how women want to shop more consciously but can’t find brands that carry their size or they have trouble ordering online (which is often the only way to access sustainable and ethical brands) due to recurring fit issues.
I understand the challenges on both sides – it must be incredibly frustrating as a consumer to want to buy from ethical brands but can’t because of their often very limited sizes/fits. For the brands, so much work and money goes into producing a collection that they have to sell to keep the business going. Brands often are required to order a minimum number of garments in each size (unless they produce in-house) so sticking to “standard” sizes and limiting styles is the safest choice and sometimes all a new brand can afford.
Is there a solution to this problem?
After hearing about these issues on both sides I decided to create a size survey to get some actual numbers and data. There’s a few things that I think are helpful to know and I hope will come out of the survey:
- What sizes are conscious consumers actually? Are there sizes under-served in the market?
- What body shapes are people? What % of measurements line up with the “standard” proportions used by most brands?
- Does size/fit drastically differ between regions and ages?
- What are the most common fit issues people have?
I’m hoping that with enough participants we can have a strong set of data on sizes, measurements, and fit issues. This information will be compiled and I’ll put together a post/report which hopefully will help brands develop sizing and fits and work better for conscious consumers and maybe also give brands more confidence to take risks on fits outside the “standards”. It also would be wonderful as a consumer to give feedback to brands about fits and sizes and have some stats to back it up.
But this only works with your help!
We need a large enough group of participants to get viable data so please fill out the survey through the link or below, it’s anonymous and should only take 5-10 minutes. Also please share this with anyone you know who shops or wants to shop from more conscious brands!
Let’s help shape a conscious fashion industry that actually considers people’s shapes!
Thank you so much for participating! 💚