Goodbye Exclusive...Hello Inclusive

Gone are the days of the perfect size zero model portraying absolute luxury, glamour and wealth. Beauty standards and normalities have done a complete 360 as designers and brands step away from a very defined concept of beauty, best known to, and accepted by, the baby boomers. However, a new generation brings on fresh perspectives and opinions on what beauty is and should be. 

Advertising used to be aspirational and painted a picture of what people wanted to be, whereas today's society (especially millennials) wants transparency, authenticity, sustainable practice and content that resonates with them personally. In the words of Nadra Nittle, "Millennials value authenticity, so businesses are embracing inclusion like never before" - which makes one wonder whether brands are taking advantage of inclusivity for financial gain or whether there is a genuine intention behind it. 

Inclusion has become an expectation and when brands like Victoria Secret fail to send regular sized women down the runway, they are going to get called out on it. It leaves one to question whether their decline in sales has something to do with their inability to move on with the times and leave narrow thinking at the door. 

While many upcoming brands hero inclusion as a complete part of their brand, many established brands have always had a large size curve and colour range fit for all women. Triumph is one of these brands that has always been inclusive but never shouted about it. The question is, why is inclusivity only becoming a necessity now? Here's why - the digital age has allowed brands to carry and market more sizes online that are kept in storage until needed, rather than a limited floor space. Realistically, it would be a great financial strain if brands had to keep sizes A-Z on the floor other than it being a massive space issue. Digital marketing and online orders have enabled brands to cater for almost everyone.

Whether inclusivity is a marketing trend or a revolution in the way society perceives beauty, it is doing the world good. People that once felt cast-off are now being made to feel human and comfortable in their own skin, promoting a healthy body image and a healthy mindset. 

Here are some of our favourite all-inclusive brands that not only promote women of all sizes, ethnicity, disabilities and ages, but have also teamed up with various non-profits to support worthy causes relating back to the overall health of the earth, minds, bodies and souls. 

Aerie

Aerie promotes a healthy body image for women across the globe by shooting real women across various sizes - flaws included. Not only does this brand practice 'no photoshop' but also encourages other women to leave their photos untouched - for every unretouched swim photo you post with #AerieREAL, Aerie will donate $1 to NEDA (National Eating Disorders Association) because "EVERY body is a perfect beach body". Aerie supports many other causes such as non-profits that support sex trafficking survivors, recycling/reusing ocean plastic waste and the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women.

Chromat

Chromat is all about empowering the women wearing their eclectic swimsuits and reinforcing the message they stand for - there are many different versions of beautiful and that everyone is worthy of love, acceptance and empowering swimwear. Their products display a merging between fashion and technology that augment and enhance the body's performance through technical fabrications and design. Not only does this brand encourage a healthy body image, but also practices sustainable, ethical and fair-wage production. Textiles are made from regenerated nylon spun from fish nets and plastic bottles recovered from oceans.

Heist

Unimpressed with how the underwear industry portrayed women, Heist assembled a team that would go against the grain and challenge the boundaries of design in creating comfortable underwear and shapewear for the everyday. Campaign imagery and product showcase  women inclusive of all sizes, ethnicities and heights. The growing team continues to source material scientists, designers and inventors to make more essential pieces that "serve us, not those looking at us". 

Knix

"We believe it's time that all women lived totally, unapologetically free. Free from judgement. Free from self-doubt. And free to be yourself". Knix has one goal in mind when creating their intimates...to make you feel more comfortable in your own skin. Not only are they the world leader in wire-free underwear but also pioneered the use of patented bonding technology to create seamless, chafe-free designs. 

ThirdLove

This underwear line uses millions of real women's measurements - not a universal template - to create the most comfortable and beautiful bras (not to mention being the inventors of the half-cup). Their core belief is that every woman deserves to feel comfortable and confident and is the key motivation behind their product as well as how they give back to the community. ThirdLove partnered up with 'I Support the Girls' and donated $10 million in bras to women in need, in 2018 alone.

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