Their body positive campaign sure didn’t last long
Remember when H&M had seemingly opened its eyes to the real bodies of average women everywhere? The retail giant won praise for a commercial advertising its fall 2016 fashion line, which featured plus sized model Ashley Greene. There’s one small problem with this though: the store has actually been actively pulling plus-sized clothing from some of its biggest stores and only plans to offer the new clothing line on its website.
One report found that H&M has pulled plus-sized clothing from its 11 New York City outlets, instead making room for a growing line of “home goods, beauty and sports wear.” In a statement, the company defended the shift saying it was all about growing its overall selection of products:
"H&M’s product range has grown in the past few years, with e.g. an extended sports offering, a new beauty assortment and our interior concept H&M Home. This means not all stores have room for all our fashion concepts. The assortment in the stores is evolving as we continuously assess the product mix, which is decided by each store’s specific pre-requisites when it comes to e.g. its size and the customers’ requests. We refer customers to our online store hm.com, which includes all our fashion concepts, and a broader assortment."
Some of the clothing options available at a typical H&M store (Creative Commons)
While the company told Revelist that plus-sized clothing options will still be available “in the majority of U.S. locations,” the site found some disturbing numbers when using H&M’s own search tool to look for plus-sized clothing availability at shops around the country:
17 out of 75 stores in California carry plus sizes
4 out of 16 stores in Ohio carry plus sizes
7 out of 35 stores in New York state carry plus sizes
15 out of 29 stores in Texas carry plus sizes
6 out of 21 stores in in New Jersey carry plus sizes
5 out of 21 stores in Pennsylvania carry plus sizes
4 out of 16 stores in Washington carry plus sizes
15 out of 29 stores in Florida carry plus sizes
(stats via Revellist)
And that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the company’s 4,135 shops around the globe.
As blogger Nicolette Mason told Allure in an interview, "H&M offers great, on-trend pieces, and it would be really noteworthy if they made those same styles accessible to all sizes, rather than just paying lip service through casting."