Welcome to the brightly-hued world of Sara Brown. She wears many professional hats as she is a size inclusive brand consultant, plus size content creator, podcast host of the Eighty-Eight podcast, and brand founder of Dolly Rocket. We've longed admired Sara's impact in the UK fashion industry and are excited to spotlight her work and talk to her about all things fashion revolution.
Before working as a brand consultant, I studied Fashion Design at Westminster University, and worked for over 8 years as a fashion designer at brands such as Marina Rinaldi and ASOS. Combining this experience with what I’ve learnt from the plus size community and lived experience as a plus size woman, I now help brands expand their size ranges to become more size inclusive and help individuals to create colour confidence in their wardrobes and homes.
When I am working with brands, there are so many different areas I might help them with, from marketing to fitting. I will often help them with their strategy for expanding their sizes, talking to them about how the size inclusive and plus size industry is growing and what customers are wanting from brands. Once we have a plan as to how they are hoping to expand, a time scale and a size range goal, we will work together to do fittings of their clothing, ensuring the fit will work for all bodies.
I have also worked with brands to ensure their marketing and their message is in line with their goals to become more size inclusive. Almost every area of the fashion industry and our society has been affected by fatphobia, meaning a lot of the language we use and ways that we act have an anti-fat bias. I offer training for brands and their employees on the history of fatphobia and how we can unlearn fatphobic ideas and relearn more size inclusive ones.
We really need to re-think the way we value our clothing. The time and skill that is takes to make clothing is immense!!! Our expectations of what clothing should cost has been incredibly distorted over the past 30 years. If I am sewing a fabulous dress it could easily take me 5 hours, then consider the material costs, the marketing, the time taken to design, it all adds up. When I really break it down I am always mind blown that it is so easy to buy a £20 dress, I think its clear to see that someone is missing out here, especially when most brands will be taking at least a 50% profit from that, so only maximum £10 is covering all of the production and materials costs. It just doesn’t work out.
I am really inspired by Freya Rabet, you actually have a few of her Freya Simonne pieces available to rent. She is such a good example of getting up and just doing it yourself. I worked with Freya over a number of years at a previous design job and Freya was always pushing for sustainability even then. I see her choosing to be more sustainable in her career and its such an inspiration. I think as designers we also obviously need to pay our rent, and choosing to not work for companies who are not very sustainable cuts down your job options massively. I love seeing what she is creating by herself, her reworked pieces are gorgeous. She is also really brilliant at educating others on sustainability and people should definitely follow her at @protect_your_mother.
I really love Loud Bodies, they are so brilliant in terms of size inclusivity and ethics. I also really love Molby the Label, they do gorgeous styles that are all made to order to any size. Theres actually so many more, I am really excited by Megan Crosby, Grey Milk, Katie France, Olivia Annabelle Apparel and Elizabeth Whibley.
I really hope that it slows down, I hope that brands start working together to improve as an industry rather than being secretive and competitive, and I mostly hope that we can eradicate fatphobia from the industry.
Yes, you read that right. In a bid to become a completely circular and climate-positive business by 2030, the mega Swedish furniture retailer are stepping into notions of sustainability just in time for Black Friday – offering to buy back customers' unwanted IKEA pieces for up to 50% of the original price.