Looking through H&M’s catalogue images, it’s clear that one body type is represented more than any other.
I get it — fashion empires push a certain aesthetic and a certain look when it comes to showing off their clothing.
But often, behind the scenes, in the corner, away from all the sizes 6s and 8s, there are at least some plus-size alternatives for those of us who are pregnant, have just had babies or just have a little extra to love.
Trish Marinozzi, a Sydney local, decided to head to H&M’s flagship store in Sydney’s Pitt Street Mall to do some shopping. Having visited other H&M stores before, Marinozzi knew they stocked plus-size and maternity clothing and so expected to find the same at the flagship store.
But that wasn’t the case, with Marinozzi being reduced to tears after being told that not only did they not sell plus-size or maternity clothing, but that she would have to go to the suburbs if she wanted to find something in her size.
“I have never been reduced to tears before while shopping until today,” Marinozzi shared on H&M’s Facebook page.
“The sheer embarrassment in asking about the plus size range at H&M and being told it’s not being stocked and being told to go to the suburbs to shop if I want that.”
More than 40 people have since liked Marinozzi’s comment, which was shared yesterday afternoon, with many lending their support to Marinozzi and deciding to show their disloyalty to the brand in response.
“It sucks that you went through that, Trish. And to think I was going to pop down there tomorrow. I love H&M t-shirts. They can #getstuffed,” one shopper said.
But Marinozzi isn’t the only one left scratching her head about why H&M won’t stock plus-size clothing in its flagship store. Writer Amy Stockwell from Mamamia was recently invited to the opening of the store, but being a plus-size woman herself, she quickly realised she wasn’t welcome there.
“The moment I stepped through the door I realised something: even though I had been invited to this store, I was not welcome.”
Stockwell also got the “go to the suburbs” response when she asked where the plus-size section was. A salesperson reportedly told her: “Oh, honey. You can drive to Macquarie Park. They’ve got those clothes there. Do you know where that is?” For the record, Macquarie Park is almost 20 kilometres away.
H&M has been in the bad books recently, especially with those nasty claims that it is a violator of human rights in its factories in Bangladesh and Cambodia. And remember that time it took inspiration from the Kurdish female fighters for a new jumpsuit? Saying that plus-size apparel isn’t going to be stocked in its flagship store just isn’t good enough for its former fans and plus-size shoppers.
H&M was contacted for comment but didn’t reply in time for publication. It did, however, respond to Marinozzi’s comment on Facebook, saying, “We are sincerely sorry to hear how upset you were,” and adding, “We do not currently have a plus size range in our Pitt Street Mall store however we are always looking at ways to improve our customer offering.
“We do have our plus size range in quite a few other stores including the store at Macquarie Centre.”
But for Marinozzi, that just felt like a cop-out.
“I live near the city and work in the Sydney CBD. Being told to leave where I live and work in order to shop made me feel like a pariah,” she told me.
“To be told that no, this store doesn’t stock plus-size or even maternity and I should go to the suburban store by floor staff and a cashier for it, made me feel unwanted and humiliated.”