Inclusion has always been one of our core values at Mary Rose. From the get go, 4 years ago, we have strived to make our boutique a safe space for people in all bodies to feel celebrated, loved, and respected. This idea that there is one standard of beauty, one body deemed acceptable by society, is bullshit. Complete bullshit. And we've stood against diet culture and this idea of attaching morals to our bodies from the very beginning.
Then we decided to switch our entire boutique from fast fashion to slow fashion at the beginning of 2021.
Y'all want to know something? Slow fashion and size inclusion BARELY exists.
Why would it be nearly impossible to find ethically made clothes above a size large, when 70% of people identifying as women in the states wear a size 14 (XL) or above?
Go back to diet culture.
Equating moral superiority to living in a smaller body.
I call bullshit.
Morals and bodies have NOTHING to do with one another.
Size inclusion must become part of the conversation around sustainable fashion.
Fast fashion is creating massive pollution and filling up landfills at a pace that cannot continue and yet people that live in larger bodies have no other choice when shopping for clothes.
It is simply not available. The barriers to assessing sustainable clothing are many and just one of them is size inclusion.
I am going to say this one more time (ok, one more right now, but I'm going to keep saying it), body size has NOTHING to do with morals. Diet culture has instilled in us that living in a smaller body is morally superior over living in a larger body. It is simply not true and a product of diet culture
Our diet obsessed society has one goal with people identifying as women...keep us small, keep us contained, keep us unheard. The diet industry is a $70 billion dollar a year industry and this message of not being good enough unless you fit into the unattainable XYZ category is serving the purpose of keeping women focused on their bodies instead of changing the world.
When we are talking about the lack of sustainable clothing options in inclusive sizing, we can clearly see how the morality of diet culture is at play. Small body=moral superiority. Most ethical fashion brands carry sizes only up to a large.
Unfortunately, there is also a sense of moral superiority in the sustainable fashion world (this is a whole different topic, but also something that needs to be addressed. Sustainable clothing is a matter of access. Financial access, sizing access, etc.). Asking the questions of why inclusive sizing barely exists in sustainable fashion is a good first step. It can be summed up as just another way diet culture is impacting our society. Because of the virtue associated with living in a smaller body, it makes sense sustainable clothing options wouldn't exist in extended sizes.
Because why would a person living in a larger body (OBVIOUSLY, not caring about much since that's exactly what diet culture teaches us...) want to purchase clothing made ethically? Yeah... It's bullshit. Morals and body size are NOT related.
Be the change you want to see.
Starting our own clothing line was not my goal. I do not view myself as a designer nor did I have the first idea on where to begin.
But seeing the massive lack of sustainable clothing options in inclusive sizing prompted me to go all in with our upcoming line, @hope.continues.
A size inclusive (XS-5X) line of ethically made clothing for the sexy minimalist. We are set to launch in Spring 2022. We are on the second round of samples and perfecting the cuts/silhouettes. We have designed a 7 piece spring/summer collection that has been inspired by the empowered, kind human. The human who is continually striving to improve themselves, sees the problems in the world, and desires to be a part of the solution. The human who loves fashion AND cares about people, the environment, and animals.
The everyday activist.
Fighting for what they believe in and doing so with passion and gentleness. Every problem has a solution. Ours was starting our own line. It's so easy to focus on problems, but we will only see things start to change once we focus on solutions. Everyone has a different area they desire to impact...size inclusion in the ethical fashion industry is ours.
Size inclusion in the sustainable fashion world is a conversation that we have only just begun to have.
The deeper issues of access are something we need to continue to work towards. When I get overwhelmed with how far we (as individuals, a brand, and a society) have to go, I ask myself, "what is the next right thing?" That is all we have to do...the next right thing.
I encourage you to really stop to think about where you're spending your dollars. Ask yourself what kind of world you want to see and if that company aligns with your values.
We have spent countless hours researching brands that align with our values and that is the curated selection you will find at Mary Rose.
Brands that honor humans, the environment, and animals. Brands that care. Human beings behind the brand striving to make the world a better place. Impacting change where they can.
You can shop our sustainable collection HERE. Thank you for your support. We see you working hard to be the change you want to see. We appreciate you.
Making the World Better, One Thread at a Time
Article credit : Julie Allen. CEO, Mary Rose NW Boutique. Founder, Mary Rose Foundation. Author and Eating Disorder Awareness Activist