The on-going Coronavirus pandemic has revolutionized the way that consumers shop and will continue to shop in the years to come. So many retailers were struck by COVID-19’s repercussions; they were left in debt with little resources to rebuild. Amid all the struggle and suffering our world has faced over the past year, communities have come together. As a community, we are reminded just how important it is to support small businesses. In regards to fashion, its small business like independent designers that make up 40 percent of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) representing by far the largest number. Indie designers are fashion brands outside large industrialized businesses.
“To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business and your business in your heart” - Thomas Watson Sr.
As an indie plus-size brand, See ROSE Go is changing the fashion narrative that says only a certain size deserves quality premium clothing. In a survey completed by Paradigm Sample with about 1500 US women wearing a plus size, it was found more US women wear a size 16 than sizes 0, 2, and 4 combined and only 28% think plus-size women are included in the fashion community. We are changing the narrative to make fashion inclusive and aspirational to all women.
Due to the Coronavirus’s impact, 48% of small businesses fear closing for good (smallbiztrends.com), and for independent designers to achieve their mission is becoming more difficult. According to NYTIMES.com most New York City-based indie designers are living from shipping cycle to shipping cycle. Our generation is at risk of losing a whole cohort of indie designer ingenuity and creativity because of the lockdown and economic effects. As an independent designer plus-size clothing brand ourselves, we want to help educate the meaning of community, how you can support indie designers, and show that we plan to stick around! Our inherent values of inclusivity, size-range, connectivity, and JOY have helped us reinforce our focus on what matters; our customers and our community. Keeping our eye on the mission at hand and delivering trusted products will see us through. To keep growing, See ROSE Go and other indie designers need your help so that we can continue innovating and creating. Whether it be through following, liking on social media, sharing, referring, and of course purchasing; all are important ways to support the small businesses around you.
Ways to Support an Indie Brand:
- Make a purchase! Of course, purchasing is the most effective way to help a brand - and you receive high-quality, beautifully unique products in return.
- Engage with brands! This includes liking, commenting, following, sharing on their social media accounts. Spending money isn’t something everyone can do right now and it isn’t the only way to help an independent designer. On social media liking, commenting, following, and sharing posts are HUGE. Not only do they help spread the word- the engagement helps various platform algorithms recognize this is a brand people want to see. Enough engagement can help brands reach explore pages which will give them access to more consumers.
- Refer to friends! So many brands have a referral program. Referring the brand to a friend or family member earns them a discount and it can also make you some money! Referrals increase independent designer's brand awareness and loyalty.
- Post a photo! Love the new blazer you got? Share a photo of yourself in your favorite indie fashion design and share why you love it! As a small independently owned business, we love to see our customers engage with us.
- Write a Review! Help other people discover the plus-size independent designers you love. Write a genuine review sharing your love. Not only does writing a review help consumers who are looking for a plus-size fashion brand; it helps increase brand awareness for the company as well.
- Buy a Gift Card! You can buy a gift card for someone close to you or treat yourself to one. This is extremely helpful to small plus-size clothing brands to help spread awareness! The more people that know about the brand, the more engagements we get.
Indie Plus-Size Fashion Brands to Check Out:
1. Berriez: Berriez is a female-founded plus-size vintage clothing brand. With an emphasis on being a vintage clothing brand, Berriez also practices sustainability. Emma Zack has a similar purpose as See ROSE Go- to inspire and give curvy women the confidence and resources to look good and feel even better in their clothing.
2. Girlfriend: Girlfriend is a high-quality activewear brand that caters to plus-size women. Their product line ranges from leggings, to high-impact sports bra's, and other performance items. With minimal design, Girlfriend creates wardrobe staples for the plus-size community.
3. Alpine Butterfly Swim: Alpine Butterfly Swim is a plus-size swimwear brand for women. Curvy women may feel discouraged while shopping for swimsuits; however, Alpine Butterfly Swim detests that! They encourage their consumers to exude confidence and feel sexy in their swimwear. As a size-inclusive brand, they cater to a voice that feels silent in the swimwear sector of the fashion industry.
4. Cosabella: Cosabella is a plus-size lingerie brand with an inclusive size range of sleep-wear and intimates. They encourage their women to feel beautiful in their bodies. Cosabella features stunning lace and other lingerie styles to enhance the beautiful curves of their plus-size women. Confidence is sexy and so are the intimates at Cosabella!
5. Maree Pour Toi: Maree Pour Toi is a bubbly and bright fashion brand for plus-size women. Their size-range extends from sizes 12-24 to ensure inclusivity. Maree Pour Toi features the perfect workwear with their signature bright blazers and a-line dresses. However, they also feature high-quality products that are perfect for a day out with the girls!
6. Loud Bodies: Loud Bodies is a plus-size clothing brand with a punky vibe! With a size range going up to 5X, all body types are encouraged to shop with them! Loud Bodies features retro and minimalistic styles inspired by the 1950s and 70s while continuing to be fashion-forward.
7. Ella and Oak: Ella & Oak is a plus-size bridal company. They ensure that plus-size women feel confident and show off their beautiful curvy bodies on their big day! With high-quality gowns, other wedding necessities, and an inclusive size-range; ELLEN & OAK is the perfect bridal spot!
8. Impish Lee: Impish Lee is a lingerie brand that caters to plus-size women. The women that shop with Impish Lee can shop their signature collections or have the ability to design their own lingerie pieces. Impish Lee embraces inclusivity in their product and size-range. The women that shop there can also receive custom sizing from the company. Who wouldn't want to design their own intimates?
9. Plus BKLYN: Plus BKLYN is a plus-size clothing brand that features new pieces, repurposed items, and vintage clothing. You could find anything here, from retro styles to workwear and leggings! Plus BKLYN acts as a thrift store for plus-size clothing. The entire boutique's size-range caters to plus-size women. For those looking to shop more sustainably, Plus BKLYN is the perfect place for you.
10. Zelie for She: Zelie for She is a plus-size clothing brand with a strong narrative of expressing oneself. Zelie for She has appeared in major retailers such as Nordstrom which makes a major impact on the plus-size fashion industry. Their products feature high-quality dresses and leisurewear. The goal of this company is for curvy women to embrace themselves.
As a plus-size fashion company, it is important that we encourage each other to shop with brands just like us! As mentioned earlier, it can be difficult to distinguish yourself in the market as a small business in general. The coronavirus pandemic affected brands from NYC to Atlanta and all the way to Los Angeles. There was not a sector of the world that retailers were not hit hard. However, the plus-size community was greatly impacted. It is hard as it is to find indie brands with high quality, size-inclusive products. The beautiful curvy women of the world deserve to be heard! That is why at See ROSE Go we encourage you to support and encourage other plus-size fashion companies.
When you shop with small businesses, you can be confident that your purchase makes an impact in someone’s life. It affects not only the founders of the fashion brand but our employees, contractors, and small factory facilities. When community members take action by promoting small businesses on social media or telling their peers about it, is just as valuable as a sale. Take action in your community! The pandemic has hit a multitude of industries; however, the small, independently owned business and indie plus-size brands need all the support they can get. You can ensure high-quality products from small and indie plus-size brands because there is so much passion and drive that goes into every design. The next time you plan to make a purchase, consider the impact you can make by shopping small!