Whenever I tell people that Zart is a size-inclusive brand – I’m usually met with two distinct reactions.
1) The first, an overwhelming relief and excitement because the person I’m speaking to has first-hand experience with size-exclusivity and definitely understands the struggle.
2) The second reaction is genuine confusion followed with a very polite - “wait, what do you mean by size inclusive?” And the question is never related to the term but the general concept i.e what they are really asking is “what do you mean people don’t make things in your size?”
The first time someone asked me the question about size-inclusivity – I almost scoffed but then I looked at the friend and realised she genuinely didn’t know. She didn’t know what it meant because this was not a struggle she had ever faced. She is a slightly taller than average woman but for all her life had essentially stayed within sample size territory. I realised that if you've never been in a situation where you’ve needed to ask -“is the biggest size this comes in?” How could you possibly know or understand what a burden size exclusivity can be.
Ok so what is it?
The best definition and the one that resonates most with me, is one I came across via parfait lingerie: “Size inclusive means that, no matter how you look – short, tall, big, small, athletic, curvy, flat, plus size – you will not be discriminated against based on your size. When it comes to clothes, it means a brand is trying to cover as many different sizes as possible, and doesn’t just cater to one figure. That means no body shaming.”
In other words it’s brands sayings to their customers: “We will cater to you, we will make things that fit you instead of expecting you to fit our designs."
In many ways - this is a huge dynamic shift in the fashion industry so not something to be underestimated.
Why is important?
When I started explaining to my aforementioned friend what it meant - i.e. that there are brands who only cater to specific body-types and intentionally avoid others - I was so impressed with how sympathetic she was.
One of the reasons I like to share my experience with my more petite friends is to use it as an opportunity to educate them on which brands are excellent at inclusivity and which are the worst culprits – can you believe most of the celebrated Australian designers only offer sizes up to to US8/UK12? Worse there are no Australian designers that make over a size US12/UK16. Not one.
My friend was horrified to learn this and now makes more thoughtful choices as a consumer and supports brands who are more inclusive. This has been a bit of an eye opener for me - I always thought this issue was something only curvy girls would have to tackle by themselves - it honestly didn’t occur to me that others would care or want to champion the cause along with us.
On a more personal note - the reason I am so vocal about size inclusivity is because this is a huge turnaround for me. When I was younger, I would never have thought to utter those words aloud because all I felt was shame. Shame that my body was different. Shame that I couldn’t shop like everyone else including my sisters and mother.
For the longest time, whenever I would go shopping with girlfriends and we would walk into a designer store, I would just quietly peruse the racks knowing full-well that there was nothing that I could try on. Perhaps I would eventually buy an accessory to satiate my shopping hunger and blend in. Worse was buying the most absurd pieces for no other reason than because it fit.
Never did it occur to me to say, “oh this designer or store isn’t size inclusive”.
I felt that instead I needed to say, “this store doesn’t make clothes in my size because I am not worthy and can’t believe I had the audacity to think I would be. Perhaps when I have lost 10kg then I can come back”. In fact for years, that is what I would say to myself as well as out loud, like it was my mantra - “Oh I’ll come back when once I have lost 10-15kgs”- I’ve been saying that since I was 14 years old. I have been telling myself that for over 20 years. That is no way to live.
So what can we all do?
Believe it or not social media has actually offered amazing respite for me. I’ve been so inspired by bloggers and influencers who only collaborate with brands who are size-inclusive (see for example the gorgeous Blaire Eadie), not to mentioned all of the beautiful and talented by body positivity advocates/influencers.
One of my biggest turning points was stumbling across Katie Sturino on Instagram - she takes the beauty beyond size movement one step further with #MakeMySize and challenges many beloved brands to change their sizing policies. In fact, her first post was in relation to DVF not making anything in her size and then and basically 12 months later - DVF launched their range of extended sizes!
It’s worth noting that we still have a looooong way to go but if we encourage and support these amazing game-changers like Katie and keep calling brands out who refuse to - together we can use our collective power to affect positive change.
So what is Zart’s take on size inclusivity?
At Zart, we wanted to offer the most extensive sizes so that no-one felt discriminated against. We also want every Zart customer to feel appreciated and welcome.
It might come as a surprise to learn that jewellery can be some of the worst culprits of size exclusivity. Just by the nature of jewellery you would think this wouldn’t be an issue but it is. Earrings might be exempt but it still a challenge for many of us finding, rings, bracelets, even necklaces and anklets.
This is why Zart offers rings in all styles between size 5-13. To put this in perspective there are many successful brands that only offer somewhere between 6-8 and the bigger (multi-billion dollar) jewellery brands only offer to size 9.
Not only will Zart stock up to a size 13 but we can custom make any style in any size for zero extra cost. That is our guarantee. And this offer extends beyonds rings - we can custom create a bracelet or necklace in any size. Email the team with any requests at email@example.com.