Co-founders of Body Confidence Canada, Aisha Fairclough and Jill Andrew share their insight on why fashion is deeply political and how all brands must ensure clothing is inclusive to the diverse bodies that they serve.
Why is it important for fashion brands to recognize inclusivity of all shapes and sizes?
All bodies, regardless of shape, size, weight, height, gender identity or expression, and ability, have a right to style! How we fashion our bodies serves as a second skin in society. Our sartorial choices help us move in the world with confidence as we navigate relationships along the way. Not only is it the socially responsible thing for fashion brands to do but it also makes economic sense. Everyone shops — everyone participates in the fashion economy. It’s in brands’ best interest to read the room and ensure their lines fit and flatter the diverse bodies they serve.
The fashion industry is integral to our identity, culture, and heritage and it can only get better if we amplify it and help it become more sustainable.
What change would you like to see in the fashion industry?
Representation! We can never get enough of that. We need to continually promote local designers, and locally sourced materials, and shop local when we can. The fashion industry is integral to our identity, culture, and heritage and it can only get better if we amplify it and help it become more sustainable.
What excites you about the future of fashion?
Fashion scholars and students, designers, and consumers are engaging in deeper conversations on the history of fashion. Many in the fashion industry are no longer shying away from the need to decolonize fashion. Instead, they’re demanding the exploration of uncomfortable connections between fashion and truth and reconciliation, colonialism, racism, labour relations, and the environment, for instance. Fashion is personal but it’s also deeply political, as we’ve seen both historically and more recently through movements such as Black Lives Matter where clothing, accessories, and design have literally helped fashion the resistance.