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How local brands are making size-inclusive fashion more available

Picture: Me&B, Instagram/@me_and__b/@tarrynfrancis
Picture: Me&B, Instagram/@me_and__b/@tarrynfrancis

Spring/Summer 2021 is all about bright hues, bold prints and comfort while looking your best.

And since 2020, South Africa’s fashion e-commerce industry has seen a rapid rise as the number of people who shopped online reached 22 million last year alone. Retailers have also come through for shoppers with fire collections and easy to navigate online stores with updated tech improving user experience. But, have you ever come across an item you really wanted to shop, but it’s a size 32 and you’re a size 40?

In 2021 this is still a reality for so many women who shop at various fashion outlets as well as online. A large number of fashion brands still have a long way to go when it comes to empowering plus-sized and moving size-inclusive fashion from niche to status quo.

This is where brands like Me&B, Lee Bex and Fashion Nova Curve come in. Me&B was founded by mother and daughter duo, Kelly-Grace Gibberd and Betina Swart. They believe that fashion should be inclusive, ageless, and sizeless.

“We believed it was time to do things differently. We wanted to create an environment where everyone could shop, feel included and most importantly feel comfortable in our clothes. This is why, if we have a beautiful design in a size 32, then rest assured we will have it all the way up to a size 46 so that anyone who likes that design can enjoy the garment” says Kelly.

Me&B was created in 2018 as an online offering and recently opened a physical store in Johannesburg at 44 Stanley Avenue,

Social media personality Thickleeyonce (Lesego Legobane) also runs an established fashion brand with business partner Rebecca Garande labelled LEEBEX. Since 2016 the pair have offered size-inclusive fashionable pieces to women online and more recently, from their store in Melville, Johannesburg.

It’s only a matter of time until major South African fashion brands become as inclusive as bigger international brands like Fashion Nova Curve, especially with a successfully growing e-commerce industry.

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