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Do plus size brands care or are they just cashing in?

This is something I have been thinking about lately as more and more plus size brands pop up. Are these brands genuinely interested in the plus size market, or do they just see it as easy money?

The Plus size market has been around for well, forever, but look back 10 years and hardly any brands catered for plus size women. Now (as long as you are a size 24 and under) you actually have some choice on the market. What has sparked this change? A genuine want to help plus size women or is it simpler than that, money. Companies in every industry are seeking out their most valued customers and employing effective business strategies in order to retain these consumers, however, are excluding some consumers who could turn out to be very valuable to the organisation. This seemed to be the thinking of most companies regarding Plus Size until very recently and now they seem to have understood the worth of the plus size market. A 2011 mintel report has shown that a “fifth of Brits are plus size”. The market has increased in value by 47% and will do so for the next 5 years; it will also outdo the rest of the women’s wear clothing market. 

 Don’t get me wrong, I am really glad that things are moving forward and that the plus size market do now have choice and choice that is actually fashion forward and pushing of the boundaries. I however do not want be seen as a quick buck. I want my plus size collections to be well thought out, designed with a plus size body in mind, with fabrics that work for our bodies. Not just a mindless extension of what you already do with the idea that scaling up will do, that to me is slightly insulting, it shows you have no real understanding of the market and probably no real interest, but as other people are doing it and there is a buzz around plus size at the moment I better cash in while I can, it is a tactical business decision. Which I also get is important in the world of business. I think this also goes for celebrity collaborations, often you have to wonder why did the brand choose this person, they aren't inspirational to us and have no idea how to dress a plus size body.

I have been luckily enough to spend time with some plus size brands and you can see their passion and enthusiasm for the clothes and the people wearing them, they want to do their best to work with and please the plus size consumer and take on feedback and are always looking to improve.

I recently heard about a brand (who will remain nameless) who had a press day and not a single plus size blogger was invited even though they have a plus size range. What kind of message does that send to us as consumers? It makes me feel like you are happy to take my money, but you don’t really want anything to do with it. I would say this is also why there has been some backlash at New Look for taking Inspire out of so many shops, you don’t want the consumer to be visible in your stores, and instead you will hide us away online so you never have to deal with us directly. Can you be a successful plus size brand if you don't really care for the consumer? Are we so starved of options that we will take anything we are offered without actually taking a step back and thinking of the motivation of the company and if they really have our interests in mind, can we sense a brand that is disingenuous? 

I guess another question to ask is, should we care if we are just pound signs to companies, as long as we are getting more brands cater to us, more choices, more price points, are we still winning in the end? 

I would love to know your views on this. Am I just being too cynical?