A Future of Inclusivity and Diversity in the Fashion world



Stretch marks, Cellulite, Plus size, Imperfection- a reminder that we're all perfect. In recent years there has been a surge in the celebrations of inclusivity in the Fashion world. Whilst there is no hiding that the fashion industry can be a dark place for many people's mental health, especially with the added pressure of living in a global age. If we step back and take a look at the progress we are making as a society in promoting and celebrating diversity, global fashion brands are campaigning to ensure everyone feels beautiful in whatever they choose to wear. Lets take a look at those striving to make a difference...


The link between fashion and mental health...


Before we move onto the amazing progress we are making, its also important that we recognise the harmful effects that Fashion has caused and still does to many people's mental health- especially the link to eating disorders. In a previous article, Mindless Mag explored how sometimes the things that enrich our life are actually harming us. Particularly focusing on the models themselves, in 2007, a study carried out by the Model Health Inquiry found that as many as 40% of models may be suffering from an eating disorder. Bodies are all different; no one looks the same and this needs to be celebrated both in the industry and in terms of marketing where everyone’s body type should be represented. Sadly, Social media also plays a huge part in the deterioration of mental health, due to masses of unattainable images of celebrities and influencers. According to the National Eating Disorder Association, a recent study of women between the ages of 18 and 25 showed a link between Instagram and increased self-objectification and body image concerns, especially among those who frequently viewed fitspiration images. Whilst we all want to post our golden hour pics, the platform can be a breeding ground for comparison and putting ourselves down due to edited photos on social media.


Body confidence wins for Asos Curve


In recent years, Asos have upped their game with the celebration of body diversity in the fashion industry. With over 5,000 items in their curve collection, they bring inclusivity into mainstream brands and promote celebrating your body despite size and shape, rather than constantly trying to change it in order to fit in. Winning the body confidence awards in 2014, Asos is an example of many brands who promote body confidence and attempt to remove the pressures around trying to conform in society. The introduction of campaigns such as The Body Confidence awards and The Real Women Campaign are a perfect example of the changing attitudes towards positive mental health and fashion.


All walks beyond the catwalk...

We challenge fashion industry dependence on one body ideal, using inspirational press campaigns that feature a broader range of sizes, ages and skin tones. Through educational work, we empower undergraduates to change practice within their chosen field and embody diversity. http://www.allwalks.org/

All walks beyond the catwalk is yet another example of the progress we are making as a society to remove expectations and negative mental health as a result of pressure from the fashion industry. A perfect example of this put into action is evident in the London 2019 #therealcatwalk. A Guerilla-style fashion show in response to the Victoria secret lingerie show. Let's take a look at some individuals brave enough to stand against the harmful effects of the fashion industry.


Empowering women on the REAL catwalk


Everyone's reasoning for stripping bare in trafalgar square was different, but all women were united with a collective goal- to feel seen and be accepted. Lucy, 20, who has Epidermolysis bullosa (also known as EB or ‘butterfly skin’), a skin condition so rare you have a better chance of being struck by lightning. She bravely walked the catwalk so that others in her position would feel comfortable and accepted too. Another brave and inspiring woman- Natasha, told Glamour magazine...

I’m a massive body positive advocate, and today is so important to empower women and show men that there isn’t one body type. I think it’s a really inspiring thing – coming together for one purpose. Natasha, 36, The Real Catwalk, London

Hopefully in writing this article, i will remind one individual that they are worthy and their mental health should be a priority over growing pressures and expectations in social media and the fashion world. Most importantly, we need to collectively pass the message on and celebrate our flaws- they make us who we are!