UK retailers are signing up to this much needed universal sizing campaign

Women across the country could finally be kissing goodbye to ill-fitting clothes once and for all, thanks to a new campaign that has caught the attention of many retailers.

Following the news that H&M are officially making their clothing sizes bigger after years of criticism, it looks like other high street heroes are set to follow suit after signing up to Shape GB, a nationwide survey designed to create standardised sizes in the UK.

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It has almost become the norm for women in the UK to be a size 10 in one shop and a size 14 in another – and that’s before you even get started on online shopping sizes. The variance can make our shopping experiences frustrating to say the least – but Shape GB is on a mission to change that. The campaign, which has managed to get major high street brands such as Next, River Island, ASOS and New Look on board, will be putting out a huge survey to establish standardised sizing in Britain.

In order to develop this new universal sizing system, 30,000 adults will submit their measurements via an app. Users will be asked to submit two photos of themselves, as well as some basic personal information. These details will be put through a Body Volume Indicator (BVI) that combines the data submitted on age, weight, height, gender and ethnicity to identify your size. The retailers who have signed up to the campaign will then use this collection of data to update their sizing charts and bring them in line with other stores.

So far, six retailers have signed up to the Shape GB project. The campaign is the first of its kind to be launched in the UK for 17 years.

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According to Richard Barnes, CEO and Founder of Select Research, who are leading the project, the idea has been in the works for the past two years.

‘At the moment retailers have very sophisticated processes for size specification, but these are based primarily on linear measurements such as waist and hip and their own customer profiles, which will inevitably be different between different retailers,’ he told The Independent. ‘Currently, body shape of customers in retail isn’t really measured comprehensively and certainly not integrated as part of the design process.’

‘The retailer’s current sizing specifications are already very good, but by adding body shape, measured by part body volume, it means there will be an extra element to the process which should lead to more consistency. A person’s body shape doesn’t change when they go from one shop to another and so once we have enough data to support integration of body shape, there is a real opportunity for the collaborators on Shape GB to work together and get this right for the customer once and for all.’