Schoolwear opinion: Vanessa Fowler
Schoolwear retailers discuss the issue of larger size schoolwear.
By Laura Turner
21 February 2012
Image: Vanessa Fowler, founder, www.sturdykids.com
Laura Turner: What led you to stock plus-size schoolwear?
Vanessa Fowler: Having a larger son and being extremely frustrated regarding what was on offer on the high street, I launched my own company in September 2009 to cater for “non-average” sized children.
The site offers generous fit, plus-sized children’s school uniforms and jeans and we will be adding some casual lines in the next few months. We stock clothes up to 50 inch waist in some designs.
LT: Do you feel the plus-size schoolwear market is still not sufficiently catered for?
VF: I don’t think it is. I believe suppliers don’t feel the market is sufficient enough to invest in, but my experience tells me otherwise. We are yet to find well-fitting school blazers for both sexes, and dresses and pinafores for girls.
We have also had many customers who, before finding our site, had to send their children to school in jogging bottoms as they weren’t ableto find trousers to fit them. I would also like to point out that it is not just a plus-size market but one that also includes clothing for children with disabilities and special needs.
LT: Do you think demand for plus-size schoolwear will increase?
VF: Our sales have grown dramatically over the last couple of years and we can see demand growing much further. We have built a dedicated customer base and are desperate to now find business partners to increase our ranges. We are confident this is the future and that demand can only grow.
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