Northampton clothing retailer says eating disorders are not fuelled by size 0 clothes
A size six entrepreneur from Northampton started an online clothing store after finding shopping trips "unbearable" - as her favourite stores did not stock clothes in her size.
Former Bugbrooke resident, Emily Kinally of MinusTen contacted the Chronicle & Echo after Primark were found to be stocking a UK size 4 in the Northampton store.
She told the Chronicle & Echo that eating disorders are a complex issue.
She said: “To put it [eating disorders] down to the size of clothing a shop sells is naive, it's like claiming the obesity crisis is fuelled by plus size clothing. It's just not the case.
“People do not have an eating disorder because they want to fit into a certain size of clothes, and people can fit into small size clothes without having an eating disorder, they do not go hand in hand.
“Having known people with eating disorders I know that the main reason they have one is due to low self-esteem and growing up with certain comments surrounding them. Others use it as a method of control when they feel they can't control what is happening in their life."
But Primark says it offers a range of sizes to cater for different customers.
A Primark spokeswoman, said: “Primark is very aware of the sensitivities involved in the sizing of women’s wear. The company offers great fashion in a wide range of sizes across the UK, from petite to large, starting from a UK size 4, and believes that the customer should have as much choice as possible.”
However, it’s not just Primark stocking smaller sizes however as Topshop and Miss Selfridge are also among the brands to stock size 4. In contrast, H&M, River Island and New Look start their ranges at size 6 (UK).
When asking why MinusTen only sells clothes below size a 10, Mrs Kinally, said: “For exactly the same reason that plus size stores don't stock size 6 - it's not our market.
“The whole point of the store is to create an online shop front for smaller sized women and girls. We are a niche market, not targeting the masses.
“I also hate the assumption that being a size 4, 6 or 8 for that matter means someone is underweight and has trouble with their relationship with food. I myself am a size 6, I have naturally been small all my life, at 5 ft tall weighing over 7 stone I have a 'healthy' BMI.”
But eating disorder charity, SEED Eating Disorder Support Services, believe the availability of size 4 on the high street is not benefiting the confidence of young people.
“Stocking size 4 clothes is sending out the wrong message to people,” says Marg Oaten MBE, Secretary and Co-founder of SEED Eating Disorder Support Services.
Chron reader, Alison Tate told the Chron that shops should stock shapely clothes in bigger sizes too.
She said: “It seems that the consensus of opinion is big women wear tents. Another gripe is leg lengths - not every woman's leg length is 27 inches, far from it - try to be happy with the size that you are unless it is damaging your health."