New Look accused of implementing 'fat tax' on plus-size clothing

Tuesday, 15th May 2018, 10:59 am
Updated Tuesday, 15th May 2018, 11:55 am

Retailer New Look has drawn criticism for supposedly implementing a 'fat tax' on plus-size clothing.

Women shoppers who are sized 16 and above are required to pay up to 30% more than their slighter counterparts for an identical item of clothing.

The criticism was initially levelled at the high street brand by shopper Maria Wassell, who highlighted that the organisation's Curves range offered items of clothing from their standard range for an inflated price.

A pair of trousers were on offer to plus-size shoppers for £22.99, while those shy of size 16 were only required to pay £19.99 for the same item of clothing.

'Fat tax'

The mother of two revealed to the Sun, that this was just one of the items slapped with a "fat tax".

A green and white striped t-shirt emblazoned with the words 'tres jolie' is priced at £12.99 to plus-size customers and just £9.99 for smaller consumers - a 30% difference in cost.

Speaking to the Sun, Wassell revealed her disappointment at her findings.

Plus-size customers are charged £22.99 for this pair of wide leg trousers (Photo: New Look)

'It's like I'm being discriminated against for being plus size when I'm only slightly bigger than average,' Wassell revealed to The Sun.

Customers under size 16 are charged just £19.99 (Photo: New Look)

'Why should we be penalised for being slightly bigger? A lot of retailers do this.

'Some retailers have claimed that plus-size clothes need more fabric and that's why it costs more. That's basically rubbish."

'Increased prices are scandalous'

On their website New look claim that their Curves range "offers stunning styles for any size".

Many customers, however, have taken to Twitter to accuse the high street brand of fat shaming.

Charlotte Turner claimed the increased prices were "scandalous".

How do #Newlook have the cheek to charge more for the same item of clothing just cause one version is in the curves section #scandalous pic.twitter.com/mjuLfUAvGe

— Charlotte Turner (@Char_Leanne) May 14, 2018

While one user of the social media platform called for a boycott of New Look.

Shoppers outraged over New Look's '˜fat tax' on plus'‘size clothingTime to Boycott!https://t.co/ARPWo1wjGl

— Bob For Full Brexit (@boblister_poole) May 15, 2018

Some shoppers, however, have defended the actions of New Look.

It's not a fat tax at all, for kids an age 6 is less expensive than age 7 in some places, bras cost more for bigger sizes, even sports shoes that are one size above the 'junior' threshold and into 'adult' cost more. It's not about weight.

— Kelly (@Kelly77227928) May 15, 2018

While one male consumer claimed that larger men are already paying more for larger items of clothing.

Shoppers outraged over New Look's '˜fat tax' Men's clothes shops have been doing it for years. As someone who takes a larger size I can't see a problem, you use a lot more cloth and presumably sewing takes longer too.https://t.co/aU1GRhTeJP

— Leon Spence (@TheLeonSpence) May 15, 2018

A spokesperson for the high street shop revealed to the Sun that they are in the process of reviewing the pricing structure  for their Curves range.

"To ensure pricing differences like these don't happen in future, we are in the process of reviewing the pricing structure of our plus size collection in a way which works best for our customers and our business," they said. 'We are proud of the ranges we offer to our plus size customers and value all customers, no matter what their body shape or size.'