Why an up-and-coming fashion brand stopped carrying 'plus-size' clothing

On-the-rise ecommerce retailer ModCloth just retired “plus-size” clothing.

But it’s not because the company has a distaste for larger women — in fact, it’s the exact opposite.

The plus-size section on ModCloth will just no longer be called “plus size,” and will be integrated with the rest of clothing, according to a recent release.

Women will be able able to find their sizes under an “extended sizes” section if they prefer to search that way.

The retailer says it hopes the move will make all women feel included.

“Nearly 2/3 of women (60%) reported that they feel embarrassed by having to go to a separate store or department to find their size, and 65% would prefer to find their size in the same section with all the other sizes. A growing outcry from the ModCloth community that integration rather than segregation when it comes to shopping for extended sizes is the right thing to do was the company’s motivating factor in taking these first steps,” ModCloth’s release reads.

According to ModCloth’s survey, 84% of plus-size women (above size 16) said they would “buy more clothing if cute and trendy items came in their size’ and “79% of women say that the fashion industry ignores the needs of “plus” women.”

This is not new news — the fashion industry an unfortunate history of ignoring plus size women. It’s a foolish mistake, since the market is worth $US17.5 billion, according to research firm NPD Group. While some companies, like Eloquii, have begun to carve names for themselves by offering stylish plus-size clothing, the problem still remains. Supermodel Emme has tried to get to the root of the epidemic by launching a program at Syracuse University called Fashion Without Limits, which teaches budding designers how to craft clothes for larger bodies.

ModCloth has made concerted efforts to sell plus-size clothing from many vendors. 

“ModCloth has always been a firm believer that types of clothing rather than types of bodies should define shopping categories,” CEO Susan Gregg Koger said in a release. “ModCloth’s mission is to help women feel like the best version of themselves, and we believe this is another way we can promote inclusively. We view this announcement as an important first step towards creating the most inclusive shopping experience we can for our customers.”

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