An Update on Plus-Size Clothing Representation…

Following my recent post and emails about brands selling plus-size clothing without actually SHOWING the clothes, I, I did get some “answers”. Or maybe I should call that “replies” because in all cases, not much is actually answered.

Or maybe I should call that “replies” because in all cases, not much is actually answered.

What I find the most infuriating? Most companies wrote that my message would be forwarded to the creative/merchandising/appropriate department… To this day, none of these department has contacted me. After over 3 months (I contacted these companies on February 12, 2017), I think it’s fair to call that a considerable failure.

Moreover, is it just me, or these companies are writing to me in an incredibly familiar way? 4 out of 5 chose to call me by my first name! In the context of a complaint, I feel the first, most essential rule should be to stick to the standards of politeness, which certainly doesn’t include “first name basis on a first contact”!

When I sent the messages, I used my an email signature stating that I’m a blogger and author of a plus-size travel e-book; I thought that misrepresenting who I was and my goals wouldn’t be honest. I guess I was secretly hoping they would be scared of getting bad press… Well, guess what? That didn’t seem to matter much to them! As a matter of fact, I mostly received automated, depersonalized answers without any form of opening or desire to know more on the issue or else.

I guess I was secretly hoping they would be scared of getting bad press…

Well, guess what? That didn’t seem to matter much to them! As a matter of fact, I mostly received automated, depersonalized answers without any form of opening to know more on the issue I brought up. No desire to find out more or to know why it matters to me (to us!) to see plus-size clothing on plus-size people (or at least plus-size shapes).


CHAMPION, WILLOW RIDGE

To this day, I haven’t received any response to the messages sent on February 12, 2017, to these 2 companies.

Two and a half months does NOT qualify as an acceptable delay to respond…


COOLIBAR

coolibar plus-size clothing

(Reply date: February 13, 2017)

Dear Edith,

Thank you for contacting Coolibar!

Thank you so much for your feedback regarding the represention [sic] of our plus size products. Please be assured we will pass your comment/feedback onto the relevant department. Feedback from our customers really allows us to improve and grow, and is taken into consideration when making changes to the merchandise/presentation.

We look forward to the opportunity of serving your needs in the future. Should you require further assistance, please contact us via email at service@coolibar.com or call us at 1-800-926-6509, Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00pm CST.

Regards,

(employee name removed) | Customer Service Lead | Coolibar

My comments: 

Am I the only one who finds it incredibly annoying that one of their response’s keyword – representation – was written wrong?


L.L. BEAN

l.l. bean-plus-size clothing

(Reply date: March 1, 2017)

Dear Ms. Bernier,

I apologize for the delay in response.  Thank you for taking the time to contact L.L.Bean with your concerns.  We have passed your comments along to the art directors in our Creative Department so that they might have a raised awareness of how model choices can affect our customers’ feelings about our products.  It is helpful to receive feedback like this and we take our customers’ opinions seriously.

We value our relationship with you and appreciate your comments.  We hope to continue to be of service to you in the future.

Sincerely,

(employee name removed)
Manager, Public Affairs

My comments:

SERIOUSLY? It took them 3 WEEKS to come up with THAT?


EDDIE BAUER

eddie-bauer- plus-size clothing

(Reply date: February 12, 2017)

Dear Edith Bernier,

Thank you for contacting Eddie Bauer.  We appreciate you taking the time to share your feedback about your recent experience with our company and our plus-size clothing.  We are sorry to learn that we disappointed you and that you had to invest your time to contact us to bring it to our attention.  At Eddie Bauer, the feedback we receive on the products and experiences on which our brand was built is highly regarded.

We would like to extend our sincerest apologies that your recent experience with our company was poor.  Your feedback has been forwarded to the departments responsible for your experience to be reviewed.

Thank you for reaching out and reminding us why you have been a part of our success for many years.  We hope to be of better service to you in the future.

Thank you for contacting Eddie Bauer.

Sincerely,

(employee name removed)
Eddie Bauer Customer Service

My comments:

Points for acknowledging the time spent writing to them… but points lost right after for assuming they hope “to be of better service to you in the future”.


TRAVEL SMITH

travelsmith plus-size clothing

(Reply date: February 16, 2017)

Hello Edith,

Thank you for taking the time to write to us with your feedback. We are always looking for ways to improve our company and appreciate your feedback. We take all of our customer’s comments and concerns into account and have forwarded this information to the appropriate department.

Thank you,

TravelSmith Customer Care

My comments:

BO-RING! Not only is this a total pre-formatted message, but it doesn’t even address or refer to the issue I wrote about! Someone has been using copy-pasting that day…


REI

rei-coop plus-size clothing

(Reply date: March 27, 2017)

Dear Edith,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write and share your concerns – we have been working hard to make sure all of our customers and members feel like they are welcome and represented in our stores and selections, so you bring up a great point on how we can continue those efforts. I’m passing along your suggestion to our merchandising teams so they can look into additional options to further our commitment.

Take care,

(employee name removed)
Staff to REI Board of Directors

My comments:

Probably the answer that refers the most precisely to the issue I brought up (lack of plus-size models to show their plus-size clothing). Also, the response came from the Board (or at least seems to), to whom the message was originally addressed.

Note: REI recently launched a women-oriented campaign that should peak on May 6. One woman has “visible fat” in the ad… (Someone told me there would be two but I couldn’t identify the other one!) I don’t know if I should be excited or offended by such a tiny “fat” representation…

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