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Which BIG Brands Are LEAST Inclusive for Plus-Size Clothing?

  • Disappointingly, just 3.3% of Topshop’s online products are plus-size friendly, with their range of clothing only reaching up to size 18 online
  • Hot Topic and Pull&Bear have just 0.7% and 1.7% of all available online items labelled a size 16 or above; the lowest scores on the list
  • Despite previous plus-size controversy, Urban Outfitters rank as the worst for their variety of plus-size dresses (1%)
  • Although fast-fashion brand Misguided pride themselves on inclusivity, just 5.6% of their total online items is available in 18-28
  • H&M are among the most plus-size friendly, with a whopping 54% of online products available in XL to 4XL

In recent years, many brands have claimed to embrace inclusivity by casting plus-size models and widening their clothing range to suit all body types. However, shopping for plus-sized clothing is still a challenge for many. 

Last week, Jacqueline Jossa hit back after being branded a plus-size model, despite wearing a size 12, so Flawless.org were intrigued to discover just how ‘inclusive’ the biggest online women’s clothing brands really are.

Which brands are least inclusive towards plus-sized customers?

The counterculture-related clothing store Hot Topic has the smallest number of plus-size items available with just 533 out of 74,425 items of women’s clothing (0.7%) between size 16 and 18. Trailing behind them is Spanish clothing and accessory retailer Pull&Bear, with just 1.7% of all products labelled plus-size – this is unsurprising given that their social media pages show a lack of body-shape diversity.

Despite receiving backlash in recent years for their lack of plus-sized clothing, Urban Outfitters still managed to find themselves sitting at the bottom of the rankings for dresses. With just one out of 546 dresses available online above a size 14.

Although Topshop has a whopping 319 stores in Britain and maintain the reputation of a leading fashion retailer, their plus-size range is pretty disappointing with just 3.3% of online items UK size 16 or above

Flawless.org found that fellow high-street favourite New Look also fails to impress. Only 353 items out of 7,144 are plus-size (4.9%). New Look’s range of dresses disappoint too, with 1% of their online inventory catering from size 16 to 32.

River Island and Boohoo also rank badly, with 5.1% and 5.2% of their women’s clothing labelled as plus-size. Sadly, River Island has just 27 out of a possible 967 tops available for sizes 18 to 28 (3%). Boohoo has 1,280 out of a possible 8,240 items in sale, which is significantly better with 16% of products.

Interestingly, Misguided dissatisfy their customers with only 962 of their 17,107 items classified as plus-size (5.6%), despite having seven dedicated sizes. This year ‘Inside Misguided’ premiered on Channel 4, with one episode providing a glimpse into their #LoveThySelf campaign which attempted to encourage diversity; although, their product range does not reflect this. Additionally, Misguided leave just 6% (260 out of 4,456) of dresses for their curvier customers to choose from.

Although they tend to have a large variety of sizes, fast-fashion counterparts I Saw it First (6.4%), Oh Polly (7.3%), Motel Rocks (7.6%), Pretty Little Thing (8%) and Nasty Gal (10%)all have less than one tenth of their products catered towards plus-size customers.

Which brands are most inclusive towards plus-sized customers?

Unsurprisingly, plus-size clothing brand Simply Be has 3,335 plus-sized items, out of a possible 4,422 – a huge 75.4% of their online products! Ranging from sizes 16 to 34, their range is impressive and convenient for thousands of shoppers.

H&M impress consumers with over half of their online items catering for plus sizes. 54% of all H&M women’s clothing is between XL and 4XL, with 64% of their tops available fitting these sizes. Similarly, the fast-fashion retailer has 55% of all dresses online obtainable for curvier customers (566 out of 1,033).

Although Miss Selfridge’s range only goes up to size 18, 47.7% of their items are between 16-18. This online store also has a large range of plus-size tops for customers, with 59% catered towards size 16 and 18. 

Growing fast-fashion outlet Sheinranks significantly well compared to its competitors with 37.2% of online items available from XL to 4XL. Surprisingly the brand ranks relatively well in the number of plus-size dresses, with 5,795 plus-size dresses in comparison to 19,536 average dresses available (30%). 

What do plus-sized customers think about this?

After analysing the data, Flawless.org were intrigued to find out what the brands’ plus-size customers think about their lack of inclusivity.

Flawless.org found that 39% of the women surveyed don’t think that plus-sized collections are not fashionable enough and are not as nice as other sizes, with some brands’ plus-size clothing described as ‘last season’

More than 3 in 5 (63%) plus-size female customers believe that the bigger sizes shown online are not accurate, and they often have to size up or down from their true size.

Almost all of the women (92%) have found online shopping during the pandemic to be extremely difficult as they are not fairly represented in the fast-fashion industry due to the lack of inclusive sizing. 

Methodology:

All data was collected on 30/09/2020 and is accurate as of then – items are updated constantly so these figures are subject to change.

Firstly, Flawless.org gathered a list of popular online retail brands which are focused upon female clothing. From each website the total number of clothing products available for women was found, where it was then established whether a plus-size filter or specific page exists. If a specific page or plus-size filter was available, the number of all plus-size clothes available were analysed. Where plus-sizes were not available, all sizes UK 16 and above were considered as plus-size. There is no agreed upon definition of plus-size ranges, so as most have starting sizes between 14 to 18, size 16 was used.

*Boohoo did not have an ‘all clothes’ section available therefore clothes from the sale section of the website were analysed as a sample. 

*Online product range is different from in store, so some retailers may have more plus-size products which is not listed online.

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