Not So Fab, Fabletics

Actual SizeRecently everywhere I look I’ve been seeing ads for  Kate Hudson’s new clothing line – Fabletics.  A quality two piece outfit that can be work to workout or hangout for $25 and the press on their website said things like:

 

“It’s causal, chic, and affordable – and there’s something for every body type.” – Kate Hudson

“Kate Hudson and JustFab created a line of workout clothes for women of all shapes and sizes.”

Fabletics All Women

“At Fabletics, we believe all women should be able to have hip styles and amazing quality at prices that won’t break the bank,” Hudson, 34, said of her new venture.”

Fabletics for all

FIT, FORM, AND FUNCTION FOR ALL

I was super excited – finally a line of clothing (and, as a dancer and marathoner, workout wear!) that would include me.  After all, my body is included in “every body type,” I’m a “shape and size”, I’m part of “all women” and “ALL.” Shut up and take my money Kate Hudson!

Or not.  It turns out their line goes from XXS – XXL.  They are not just excluding anyone larger than an XXL from their clothing line, they are also using their star power and significant media presence to exclude us from their definition of “every body type,” “all shapes and sizes,” and “all women.” It’s stigmatizing and hurtful.

It’s not just Fabletics, I’ve seen this plenty of times with clothing lines, including some specifically designated as “plus size”.  I’m not making an argument today about why clothing lines should include larger sizes. I’m not having a conversation about patterns and fabric cost. (Though both of those are worthy topics of conversation.)  Today my point is very simple:  Unless you are actually prepared to make clothes for people of all shapes and sizes, don’t say that you make clothes for people of all shapes and sizes.

If you’re a regular reader you’ve probably already guessed that I  submitted an e-mail on their contact page explaining all of this and then saying:

Before I write about this I wanted to reach out to see if we can talk about it. I don’t know what the possibilities are but I’m interested in finding out. As a co-founder of the Fit Fatties Forum I can tell you that there are many fat women who have trouble finding workout wear in our size, including me.

Regardless, being excluded by your size choices, and then treated like we don’t exist in your PR and pull quotes is really problematic and I’d like to open a dialog about it. Just let me know what works for you and thanks for considering this.

They sent back:

Hello Ragen,

Thank you for contacting Fabletics we appreciate your interest in our brand. For any media or inquiries in our blogger program, feel free to send your information to media@fabletics.com.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us anytime between 9am-9pm everyday (est) at 1- 844-322-5384 or through live chat at www.fabletics.com. Thank you and have a great day!

I decided to save them from themselves and self-select out of the blogger program, but I re-sent my e-mail to media@fabletics.com and haven’t heard anything.  If you’re reading this Kate Hudson, I’m in LA and I’d love to take you to lunch and talk about this – I bet we could do some cool things!

Activism Opportunity

You can help give Fabletics a chance to see where they’ve missed the mark:

Send an e-mail to media@fabletics.com

Submit an e-mail on their contact page

Contact them on Facebook

Find them on Twitter @fabletics

Speaking of activism, after months of work I am so incredibly excited to announce that  Jeanette DePatie and I launched the website for the Fat Activism Conference today.   A virtual conference (so you can participate on the phone or computer from wherever you are), that features amazing speakers giving information, tools, and support for people of all sizes who are interested in fighting the bullying, stigmatizing, shaming, and oppression faced by fat people, and doing that work intersectionally.  The conference will be August 22-24th,  and there is a pay-what-you-can option to make the conference accessible to as many people as possible.  Registrants will have access to the live workshops as well as recordings so that you can listen on your own schedule, or listen to a favorite talk again and again.  Hope to “see” you there!

Like this blog? Consider supporting my work with a donation or by  becoming a member! For ten bucks a month you can support size diversity activism, help keep the blog ad free, and get deals from size positive businesses as a thank you. I get paid for some of my speaking and writing (and do both on a sliding scale to keep it affordable), but a lot of the work I do (like answering hundreds of request for help and support every day) isn’t paid so member support makes it possible ( THANK YOU to my members, I couldn’t do this without you and I really can’t tell you how much I appreciate your support!)   Click here for details

Here’s more cool stuff:

My Book:  Fat:  The Owner’s Manual  The E-Book is Name Your Own Price! Click here for details

Dance Classes:  Buy the Dance Class DVDs or download individual classes – Every Body Dance Now! Click here for details 

If you are uncomfortable with my selling things on this site, you are invited to check out this post

Published in: on July 3, 2014 at 7:57 am  Comments (15)  

15 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Ragen–You are consistently amazing. Excellent point, and made with spunk and humor per usual.

  2. They might as well have just said; “one size fits all (restrictions apply)”, at least that would be more honest. Or say “for all (socially accepted) body shapes and sizes” and use the diet moniker: results not typical.

    So glad you called them out on this Ragen. Not happy with their generic response to you, but I hope your note makes its way to someone higher up who will contact you. They could certainly learn something. I would love to see them extend their line and use you as their fit model, because then I too would be able to buy their clothes.

    If only companies would realize the lost revenue in excluded fat people. If the designers refuse to work with fat people, then I’m sure there are some fabulous new designers at FIT who would love the chance to design a size-inclusive clothing line using a variety of fit models.

  3. Here’s the letter I submitted to their contact page:

    Dear Fabletics,

    I am writing with regard to your messaging that your clothing is for “every body type,” “women of all shapes and sizes,” and “all women.” Contrary to these messages, I noticed that Fabletic’s clothes end at size XXL/18-20.

    I appreciate that this is a broader range of sizing than most athletic brands. However, it still comes nowhere near including all women. As a woman who usually wears a size 20 or 22, I could probably fit into the bottoms, but not the tops; and I know many women larger than myself who would love to buy affordable, fashionable athletic wear if it was available in their size.

    I am not asking you to expand your size range, although that would be great–I am merely asking that you be honest in your messaging. A size range from 0-2 to 18-20 includes many women, perhaps even a majority of women, but it definitely does not include “all women.”

    If you do decide that you genuinely want to make clothes for all women, I recommend following the example of eShakti, a manufacturer that sells clothing in sizes 0 through 36 and also offers custom sizing.

    Thank you for your time and consideration.

    Sincerely,
    Laura

    • Love your note! Polite, to the point, you give them examples of how they could correct the situation. Excellent!

    • Well done, Laura! I like your note very much. In fact, I will probably refer to it as a model when I write mine.

    • Oh, thank you for mentioning eShakti. I had never heard of it before, but now it’s bookmarked. Their clothes are so lovely! And the size range! and customizable! WOW!!

    • Mentioning eShakti was a genius move. Often the kneejerk response to complaints is to come up with some variation of “it can’t be done.” Showing them a business that is currently doing it is the perfect answer to that.

      I wonder if eShakti has ever considered doing exercise wear?

  4. meh. That’s to Fabletics. Went to their website. Looks more like same old same old we’ve always gotten from the fashion gurus. They are really interested ONLY in women who fit the smaller standard sizes. No one else. No matter what they say in their press releases. Their Size Guide proves it. XXS-XXL indeed. To me, that range would cover Size 00 to at least a 22. But not Fabletics. In their Size Guide an XXS is a 0-2. An XS is a 4. S is a 6. M is an 8. L is a 10-12 XL is a 14-16 and the XXL is a 18-20. meh again. Just more ego stroking for the women Sizes 0-8. With a heaping helping of Eww! Size 10 and above is a Icky Gross Fattie that the fashion industry pushes. Even an 8 is practically a Plus Size to them. And the models? If they are soooooooo size and all women inclusive, why are the models obviously all at most a Size 2. Size 2? Heck, most of the models showing off the clothes on that website probably are below a 0 and have had the clothes tailored to them. Where are the models that look like at least SOME of their target audience.

  5. I can’t work up any decent outrage over this example — seems like pretty typical cluelessness to me, and I just don’t have have that many battles in me to fight. But oh boy do I hear you when it comes to plus-size lines. It’s such a major letdown to hear all about “exciting new options for all sizes of large!” and realize that the options stop at 22 or 24 or 26 . . . .

    I also unsubscribed from a site that touted their new accessories line by saying “jewelry always fits.” When I pointed out that that was untrue and hurtful, they weaseled out of it by saying that their particular necklace was adjustable to some particular size without addressing the major issue. Ugh. Not here for that.

    • Brooches always fit. And stick-pins. And tie-tacks!

      Oh, and cuff-links. Yeah. I forgot about those. But then again, I’m a woman, so have never come across a fashionable dress that required them. Although I don’t see why not. Why shouldn’t women be allowed cuffs and cuff-links? They look good.

  6. Thank you for pursuing this one!

  7. I wrote my message to fabletics, thereby completing my very first act of fat activism!😀

    • That is awesome! Welcome to the club🙂

      ~Ragen

  8. Wrote an email, sent a tweet. Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Superhero Ragen!


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