Creating A New Beauty Standard
Her Society, one of The Generator 2019 Accelerator Startups is on a mission to make women’s fashion brands more size inclusive.
With 50% of women globally falling into the ‘plus sized’ bracket (16+), it’s puzzling to hear that ‘plus sized’ garment sales only equate to 18% of total women’s apparel sales.
At a global market value of $240Bn, the ‘plus sized’ market is growing faster than any other segment in the women’s apparel market; which is a huge missed opportunity for many brands.
But the real problem here isn’t in the missed opportunity for the brands, it’s in the horrible shopping experience that these women encounter on a regular basis.
From brands not stocking their sizes, to some brands charging $10 more for their ‘curvy’ range, to brands not modelling any size above six or eight in their marketing, it’s no wonder that it’s tough for these women to find anything fashionable or on-trend that’s worth buying.
When we start to dig into why this problem exists, we quickly uncover some uncomfortable truths about how these women aren’t treated as ‘normal’ by these brands.
In many cases for many brands, not catering to this market is a business decision because they’ve gotten themselves stuck in a negative feedback loop:
- Brands don’t market to ‘plus sized’ women.
- This means there is no consumer demand for these sizes.
- So the brands don’t stock these sizes.
This is where Her Society is planning on throwing a spanner in the proverbial works.
With a community of over 16k women on Instagram desperate for more size inclusive brands, Claire Bristow (co-founder and CEO of Her Society) has the drive to transform the women’s fashion industry by introducing a new sizing standard - size inclusive.
“Even in 2019, traditional women’s fashion marketplaces continue to segregate women by their size (‘straight’ or ‘plus’ size), which is incredibly demoralising for the majority of women who are a size 14 or over. We are flipping this model on its head with our fully size-inclusive store that only stocks brands that cater to at least a size 16. For brands that don’t currently stock this size or above, we offer a pre-order system for the additional sizes, so brands can enter the ‘plus size’ market risk free. Our ultimate mission is to ensure women will never be defined by their size again, at least not by us.” — Claire Bristow, co-founder and CEO of Her Society.
Her Society’s pre-order model creates a positive feedback loop for these traditionally non-size-inclusive brands where:
- Brands list additional ‘plus sizes’ on Her Society.
- Her Society markets these garments to ‘plus sized’ women.
- The brands see consumer demand through pre-ordered garments.
- The brand starts manufacturing and stocking these sizes.
It’s a win-win for the brands and for the women because women get access to brands that typically don’t cater for them, and brands get a slice of this massive $240Bn market risk free.
At only seven weeks into testing their model, it’s early days for Her Society.
Having locked in a handful of reputable clothing and undergarment brands, with many more in the pipeline, initial market signs are positive for Her Society.
MEET THE FOUNDER
Co-Founder and CEO of Her Society
Monash University Alumni - B. Nutrition and Dietetics, PhD Psychology/Education
Why did you start Her Society?
"Well, get comfortable! It’s a long story, but in short form I was diagnosed and lived with Anorexia from 15-20 years old. During my recovery and struggling to come to terms with my body post-weight gain, I was then diagnosed with severe depressive disorder. What I realised along that journey is that the current beauty standards that exist for women in society today are seriously harmful and dangerous. I have made it my mission to create a new beauty standard - one where every woman is acknowledged for who they are and not what they weigh or the clothing size they wear."
Why do you care so much about this problem?
"The thin-ideal that women are subjected to in society has been found to be one of the leading causes of disordered eating and body image issues today. Recent research has also found that eating disorders have increased two-fold since the 90’s, and over 80% of girls and women are dissatisfied with their bodies. I’m not okay with these stats and want to see them decline ASAP."
What has been the most valuable part of The Generator Accelerator?
"Being surrounded by people who want to see you succeed and believe in you even more than you believe in yourself. I wouldn’t have embarked on this mission without the support the team has given me."
What are you hoping to achieve by the end of The Accelerator?
"We plan to launch the marketplace, including pre-orders, by the end of the program. It’s a tight timeline but watch this space!"
Where do you see Her Society in 5-10 years?
"Smashing beauty standards and helping millions of women feel confident and worthy in themselves and their bodies."