Posted in Eco-living

Sustainable Fat Fashion (a fat-positive clothing swap story)

Sustainable Fat Fashion (a fat-positive clothing swap story) Posted on 01/03/20201 Comment
Ahoy, hello! My name is Jenny. I am a thirty-something human female from Manchester in the north of England. I enjoy rainy days and sad songs, custard donuts and salt & pepper chips and beer, lentil dhal and fried okra, X-Files and Twin Peaks, fierce fat heroines and mental health advocates, dogs and cats and otters and a very special beirdo. To paraphrase Sylvia Plath: "I blog because there is a voice within me that insists on writing lots of ridiculous chuff".

Do you think about where your clothing comes from, friends? Do you know the ethical and/or environmental policies of the retailers that you purchase from most often (if any)? Do you struggle (for whatever reason) to find new and ethically-produced or second-hand clothing that fits or is suitable for you?

As a plus-sizer I’ve always struggled to find thrift/second hand clothes in my size, particularly given my aesthetic of Very Large Toddler. Because of this I’ve always bought new, and from whichever retailer(s) carry clothes that’ll fit me. The options have improved over the past 20 years for sure, but many speciality ethical plus-size retailers are pretty expensive, and I’m not always entirely sure of their ethics when it comes both to the materials they use and the workers they employ.

I did a wee bit of research recently and threw together the infographic below, which really highlights the issues here in the UK.


One of the best sources of information about the fashion industry is the super duper Ethical Consumer. And more recently, I’ve been getting into making my own clothes from scratch which has been a REVELATION. There are some amazing plus-size pattern designers out there, and you can have total freedom on the fabrics you use, creating something much more personal and (literally) tailored and usually a lot more exciting than the options available on the high street (where retailers often assume that plus-sizers want to cover up as much as possible).

For all of these reasons, I have always looked on sadly when folks find great clothes at second-hand stores or clothes swaps, until recently a local clothing co-op (Stitched Up) pointed me in the direction of a FAT-POSI CLOTHING SWAP YOU GUYZ as part of the Manchester Market St Lush store’s Sustainable Sundays.

I reached out to the event organiser with some questions about its inception and future plans for more fat-posi clothes swap events, and I’ll update this post if they’re able to get back to me. But I am VERY MUCH HERE for this, friends!

Are there any plus-size clothing swaps where you live? If you are a bigger size, do you struggle to get a hold of decent second-hand clothes? How do you find thrift/charity shopping?

Huge thanks to Roxy at Lush Manchester for organising this amazing event! I can’t wait to attend more!

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1 comment

  1. Sounds like a wonderful event!
    I am truly horrified to learn that some brands are burning or dumping excess stock!!! I never would have thought.

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