Authenticity is the alignment of head, mouth, heart, and feet – thinking, saying, feeling, and doing the same thing – consistently.
That’s a quote by Lance Secretan, and one I pull out all the time when I talk about leadership in my day job, but I think it’s particularly relevant to this post.
There’s a lot of talk about size diversity in the fashion industry. Talk is free. It may be aligned with the way you think and feel; but unless your action follows – what is it worth?
So when I see action, true authentic action about size diversity in the fashion industry, I think it should be loudly applauded. And rewarded with our shopping dollars. You see, it’s not just fashion retailers who have to be authentic about a commitment to size diversity; it’s also us as consumers. We think and feel and talk about size diversity being important – and now it’s time to use our feet (or dollars) carefully to drive real change.
So today, I wanted to highlight birdsnest for their Pledge to Size Diversity, and recognize their significant investment in delivering on that commitment.
Here’s just a couple ways birdsnest is leading the way:
See it on someone like you
birdsnest are photographing all of their clothing on three different sized models – a size 8-10 model, a 12-14 model, and a size 16+ model. I’ve previously raved about birdsnest’s website for its great functionality – and this added feature is just another way they lead the pack. This commitment has tripled their investment in photography, the number of images on their site, and the number of models they hire – all to show their customers they are serious about size diversity.
Shaking up sample sizing
birdsnest dug a little deeper to try and understand, and then remove some of the barriers to the promotion of size diversity – and they found that a lot of the ‘blame’ for smaller sizes represented in media was related to the sample sizes of garments. For each of its six inhouse labels – birdsnest is now producing sample sizes in both a size 10 and size 14 (and encouraging the other brands they stock to do the same). At an increased cost to their business, they are taking a stand in the industry and refusing to be an ‘excuse’ to having real size diversity represented in mainstream media.
Real bodies – no photoshop
All the bodies and natural features of the models are left untouched in all of birdsnest’s photos.
When talking to birdsnest about these changes, and how great I though they were – they talked about it being a necessity. For birdsnest, these changes are about creating a safe space for women to shop. “It is scary how many women are battling with negative feelings about their bodies. We have a responsibility, being part of this industry, to present diverse, empowering and positive messages about body shape” that’s Jane Cay, founder of birdsnest with a message straight from the top.
In this post, I’m wearing the Cross Waist Jumpsuit (size 16) from one of birdsnest’s in house labels – Bird Keepers. It’s available in Black or Navy, Size 6-22. Usually I wear a 14 in the Birds Keeper brand, however I have a long torso so sized up for a perfect fit! My shoes are TRIX Mules from Spendless Shoes.