“It’s really disheartening not to have this accessibility of clothing for me, and it’s really very sad when you think of all the fashion brands and the number of malls and stores that exist in Auckland alone.”
The average size for women in Aotearoa is size 16. Most fashion brands like the hugely popular Glassons go up to size 16 – and that’s where it stops.
“I don’t know if I can really explain what it’s like to walk into the store with this anxiety that all is not well.”
Designer Sarah-Jane Duff has been making plus size clothing for over 15 years. Her clothes are aimed at those women that fast fashion ignores.
“There’s an unbiased bias. There’s a bias about fat diets like we’re all conditioned to change our bodies, so how are they not part of this conversation.”
Duff thinks the industry has improved over the years, but said it’s still hard to buy good quality clothing at a reasonable price if you’re not what the industry considers a standard size.
“I feel like there’s this idea of ’It’s more, it shouldn’t cost more’, but it would take someone longer to sew a piece that fits my body, not to mention the materials and its design.”
Whether it’s a dress for a date, work clothes or workout gear, everyone should be able to get their size when they need it.
“I’ve definitely been in situations where I really wanted a piece worn to an event or for a birthday or for a date and had to plan it ahead of time because I know I can’t. not go to a store and choose what I like,” Molina said.
Some companies are trying to break the mold like Miria Flavell, owner of Hine, a range of activewear ranging from XS to 6XL.
“We have 10 sizes, which is very rare, and when I was shopping for manufacturers and suppliers, it was a huge problem for me trying to find a supplier who would fit six sizes let alone 10. “
And the demand is there – there are people and companies who want to make the clothes.
“I think there’s definitely a shift in attitude, so seeing tall people as people who are worth really nice clothes,” Molina said.