Size of the times - Supply Management

Size of the times

1 February 2011
The obesity crisis is usually only an issue for people who work in the healthcare professions, or design aircraft seating. But spare a thought for corporate clothing designers, who are being forced to design uniforms to suit employees ranging in size from six to 30. According to a press release from clothing supplier Incorporatewear, one in four people in the UK are classified as obese, with the number rising to one in three in the US. So, if you buy clothing for an Anglo‑American company you need to budget for more fabric than if you’re kitting out employees at a chain of sushi restaurants (the Japanese are described as the “most homogenous population in the world”, making the fact they show some self‑control at the buffet sound like a veiled insult). The UK is, inevitably, “the fattest nation in Europe”. But it’s not all bad news: UK women also have Europe’s “biggest bust measurements”, although it is possible that the second statement is merely an attempt to put a positive spin on the first. HT thinks the solution to the obesity crisis probably lies in Incorporatewear’s maternity range, with “styles that allow for the expansion of waistbands” and in their generous returns policy, which takes into account the existence of employees who are “in denial about their ‘real’ size”.
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