Shopping as a fat girl is an exclusive experience, and not in a good way. It is so hard to find brands that cater to people who actually love fashion and unique pieces, rather than just articles that will cover you up. A lot of plus-size brands out there mostly make clothing that are smart casual or for the average office worker. Us big girls like to look like fashion icons too.
Models for most brands are almost always the “acceptable fat”; slim waist, big hips, flat/small stomach. This can make fat people who don’t look like this believe that they’re not worthy of the nice clothing most straight-sized people wear. If you’re ready to venture somewhere new, I’ve got some ethically sourced brands for you.
- Universal Standard
Sizes 00-40. Incredibly true to their name, this brand has so many must-have basics that will really change how you style your outfits. We know that there are fits with statement pieces that rock, but there is something intriguing about making basics look un-basic. With pieces from this brand, you’ll be able to do just that.
- Form & Found
This brand is a hidden gem for sure. Their stunning clothing is made from sustainably sourced linen that is made to order. If you don’t see your size reflected in their charts, you simply send your measurements over and they will adjust the pattern to fit you. Prices do not change based on your size. Don’t sleep on this shop, they’re elevating the retail game by empowering their customers.
- Girlfriend Collective
XXS-6X. The royalty of inclusivity. This brand will change your shopping experience. They sell a lot of loungewear, which you can dress up with a leather or jean jacket and combat boots. Loungewear fits are perfect for this season!
They are completely transparent about where they source their materials and the conditions in which the clothing is made. Also, all of the armpit hair on their website makes me feel comfy.
- Veronica Velveteen
It doesn’t matter what your size is! This handmade to order lingerie is created specifically for you and your glorious body. The fabric is sustainably sourced and each piece is made by the owner of the business. There are also other articles in Fern’s shop to browse. Almost every one of the orders has a 5-star review, which would probably be why the shop is on a break. Turn those notifications on now so you can grab your very own customized set when it reopens.
S-6X. This brand has so many pieces that are individual, eye-catching and can be styled quite easily. If you love to look like you put a lot of thought and effort into your look, without actually doing so, Altar will be perfect for you. The most intense of stylists will also find favourites on this site. The colours are also so very pleasing.
- Kaela Kay
Sizes XS-3X.This store is the spot for staple pieces that will add colour, texture and overall power to your look! Kaela Kay specializes in curating modern pieces with an African flare. On top of that, all items are hand-made by seamstresses in Toronto. The creator is from Ghana, and it’s a Black-owned brand. If you’re looking to turn heads, this is the shop for you.
- The Standard Stitch
Sizes XS-5X. Similar to Girlfriend Collective but with even more of a focus on loungewear and basics. You can get a jogger set in so many colours on this site, why not start a collection? This is another brand that is very transparent with its sustainable practices and ethical labour.
- Free Label
Sizes XS-4X. Sustainable materials and ethical production, Free Label has it all. Their Reese and Loretta pants are stunning. They both look like they are the comfiest leg-huggers in the world, and they’re so stylish! Honestly, all of their clothing fits this description. Like most of the others on this list, you can see how dedicated they are to encouraging body inclusivity with the models on their site.
These brands can be more expensive due to their sustainable practices and ethical labour sources but are often of much better quality. They are less about the “fat tax” (Torrid) and more about actually paying for the labour and extra care put into the clothing. If you’re on a tight budget, I would recommend saving up to get a few basic staples if you can. It’s a great way to build your wardrobe and it’s almost like an investment. They’ll last longer and you can focus on getting statement accessories to switch things up.
Remember, if you sometimes shop at fast-fashion spots (Shein, BooHoo, FashionNova, Pretty Little Thing, RoseGal etc.) you do not need to beat yourself up. Plus size women are basically forced to support fast fashion as ethically sourced and sustainable clothing is often not a one size fits all. It was tough to even find 8 brands, and not all of them are totally size-inclusive. You can always focus on being more aware of ethical and sustainable practices in other areas of consumption in your life. Even if you’re on a tight budget, you still deserve to feel as good as you look.