ModCloth is retiring "Plus" from their website, and it's a wonderful thing
Whether they’re promoting body positivity through using their own employees to model swimsuits, hiring transgender models to rock new styles, or launching the FitShop of our dreams, it’s no secret that we have a big crush on ModCloth. They’ve definitely set the stage for the fashion industry to finally take notice that women are not defined by their size, and shopping for clothes should be a fun, inclusive experience — not one that makes us feel ashamed or punished. So when ModCloth announced today that they would be retiring the “plus” section from their website, we couldn’t wait to hop on the phone with Susan Gregg Koger, the co-founder and chief creative officer, to talk about their announcement.
“We wanted our customers to be able to shop by categories, not sizes,” Koger said. She also mentioned how it was really a simple concept to just put all the sizes together, from XS to 4X, because no one feels great having to go to a separate section of the store to find clothes that fit them (can we get an “amen”?!). And they have the numbers to back it up.
ModCloth recently surveyed a sample of 1,494 U.S. women ages 18-35 about their feelings with shopping for “plus sized” clothing. They found that 79% of those women believe the fashion industry ignores the needs of “Plus” sized ladies, 56% were frustrated at being referred to as “Plus,” and 72% of them who identify as “Plus” sized say it is difficult to find clothing that fits well. And 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. 65% would prefer to find their size in the same section with all the other sizes.
Looking at the positives: 58% of women believe inclusion of “Plus” sized models in advertising the past year has improved, and they found that 52% believed that model diversity has changed for the better in the past year. ModCloth is happy to be taking these steps forward with their campaigns, and enjoys seeing it impact the broader industry, with the use of positive hashtag campaigns like #StyleForAll and beyond — “we know it’s complicated issue. . . and it’s been cool to see other movements and people stepping up and taking charge with these ideas,” said Koger. It’s all about integration, not separation, “no one wants to be ‘othered’,” she added. “You don’t have to be ‘plus size’ to know what it feels like to be alienated from sections of the store.” Preach!
We’re happy to see the term “plus” go the way of the wind, and we hope others in the fashion industry will follow ModCloth’s lead.
In other happy ModCloth news, we’ve still got the FitShop. ModCloth was also happy to announce that their successful pop-up location in San Francisco extended its lease to January 4th, 2016. Along with offering their namesake label in the store, they’re revamping the design and styles offered to reflect their seasonal trends (look for those the first week of November!).
What’s next for ModCloth? Hopefully, more brick-and-mortar stores, says Koger. “We’re still figuring out the logistics internally, but we have big ambitions for what [these stores] will look like. We’re listening to our community.”
[Images courtesy ModCloth]