When Ruth Smith's overweight sons couldn't find any clothes that fit them properly, she decided to do something about it.
"I can remember the frustration when shopping for my plus-sized child," she recalls. "We went from store to store and came up empty handed. Remember, clothing is supposed to make you feel good about yourself, but for my son it was just a source of rejection. For this reason, I will never forget the day when I found something that fit him perfectly. He came out of the dressing room and said "Hey Mom, It Fits!" Right then I said “Son you named the business".
A seamstress by trade, Ruth started making clothes that were comfortable for her kids, tailored specifically to suit their shapes and fashionable. And now the entrepreneurial mum has turned to Kickstarter, a website designed to help businesses get started, to raise $35,000 so she can start mass-producing her plus-sized children's clothing range.
Ruth says retailers keep getting plus-sized clothing for children wrong. “It’s not just about getting a bigger size, and it’s not about taking plus-size little girls into women’s stores just to find clothes to fit them. I saw that all the time, and it struck me how they never got to look like little girls,” she said. “It wasn’t fair.”
“I’ll never forget seeing this little girl, years ago, complaining about her shorts,” she tells Yahoo Shine “She was a big girl, and said they were rubbing her thighs and hurting. The inseam needed to be dropped. It was too high and driving her crazy. It needed tailoring to suit her. It wasn’t that they needed to be bigger; the tailoring just didn’t work with her shape.”
So far, response to her Kickstarter campaign has been positive. One women commented on the Huffington Post: "Whether you find this concept sad and you sit there judging parents not knowing all the factors (socioeconomic levels, medications, medical issues - it's not just eating unhealthy foods or not exercising), the fact is that everyone deserves to have clothing that helps them feel good about themselves. A child shouldn't be stuck wearing sweatpants/shirts or a plain, baggy t-shirt simply because his/her body isn't society's image of perfection. Instead of being so critical, acknowledge that there are many reasons why children have weight issues, but as adults we should be supportive and help them through rough patches. If that includes plus-sized clothing for a certain time, so be it.'
Are plus-sized clothing ranges for kids promoting obesity?