By Marissa Heyl, Symbology Founder
Seven years ago, I started Symbology to empower women through fashion. Not just our artisan partners, but customers as well--pear-shaped, petite, big breasted, Amazonian and all lovelies in between. As a curvy woman who loves her carbs, I've always found the emaciated fashion model thing kinda bullshit. And the snobbery that continues to pervade certain boutiques. Fashion is about as democratic a platform as it gets to create positive change--why shouldn't we all as women be able to participate? Aren't we all worthy of empowering each other and feeling empowered?
The ethical and sustainable fashion space really needs more plus size options--hell, even fast fashion is sorely behind on offering inclusive sizes that are fashion-forward and flattering.
That sentiment has been echoed by many of you, my persistent and eager ladybirds, inspiring me to start carrying plus sizes through size 3X. I will say though that it hasn't been easy. As a small label with limited batch, ethically handmade production, creating plus sizes and getting the fit right is a challenge--it is not just about adding an inch or two when grading up in size but really thinking about (and listening hardcore to) our customers and how they want the pieces to fit and flatter.
Making inclusive clothing is also really expensive. The cost of making a plus size dress is substantially higher, requiring more fabric and a different pattern altogether--not to mention that sustainable fabrics cost more. We have had many returns for fit issues on our new XXL and 3X sizes, and have worked tirelessly to readjust the patterns to accommodate. It's part and parcel of learning to be a better business and actually creating pieces women want to wear.
But let me tell you, when we get positive feedback from customers about how they have finally found a dress that is flattering and ethically produced--making them feel beautiful and powerful--we get ALL THE FEELS. It brings me immense joy to read the glowing reviews and see a beaming smile on the faces of customers at our popups. Symbology has got you covered, literally ;)
As I've said before, no label can do it all. We are constantly improving and adjusting to accommodate our customer's needs and requests. Symbology is now 100% vegan (thank you for the push, vegan friends) and we are offering more sustainable fabrics like modal and organic cotton. We will start carrying maternity and breast-feeding friendly styles and a new bridal + bridesmaids line next month, and I could not be more jazzed about it.
Thank you fellow Symbologists for being part of our journey, and keep the feedback coming!
Check out some of the giddiness inducing reviews below for our new sizing:
"It was so soo nice to find a fair trade brand with something other than a sack for those of us that are on the busty and curvy side. I got the xxl as a typical size 16 with a 40DD bust and it fit flawlessly. I feel like this is one of those designs that can dress up or down and flatters a wide range of body types. The material is wonderful and I now want even more dresses in this luscious fabric."
-Katrina Owyns on our maxi wrap dress
"I have a big bustline, and I found the cut to be very flattering. I can't get over the fact that the fabric is hand printed. It's a beautiful piece."
-Alison Tuck on our Cherry Blossom maxi wrap dress
"I've always been a curvy girl, I've never been able to fit into a "normal" size. I was so excited to learn about Symbology--the clothes actually make me feel good...with having a baby and moving around and still wanting to look nice and go on a date with my husband, these clothes allow me to do that."
-Heather Knight on our cropped jumpsuit