This type of branding opens up another avenue to women of different races but also people of different sizes. However, can this include women that are of a bigger size, specific ethnicity and strict religious background?
Kelly Atkins, professor of Merchandising at ETSU, worked in retail for 16 years, 10 of those years at Gap, prior to getting her masters to come back to teach at the university.
Atkins believes the best attempt at overall inclusivity starts with the employees of a retailer.
“In general, for a business to project inclusivity I think employees need to be representative of different types of races or genders or cultures,” said Atkins. “Whether or not the store carries typically for a religion, having employees that showcase how the person can wear the clothing in the store and still have it fit within the guidelines of their religion is important.”
She says this is how a business shows they care about including everyone in their apparel, but she has also seen the side of business that makes it difficult for a store to be inclusive in this sense.
“From my own experience in retail, we had a lot of Church of God women shopping that wore long skirts,” said Atkins. “They felt like their selection was rather seasonal [not sold year-round].”
In the seasons where fashion generally gravitated toward a shorter hemline, women within the Church of God found it difficult to be able to dress according to their religious guidelines.
According to Atkins, retailers such as Gap did their best to have a staff that represented a wide range of ages, races and religions.
However, there are retailers such as Abercrombie and Fitch that have been known for the opposite.
One reason inclusivity has come into question, especially with religion, has a lot to do with the portrayal of a company in the media.
Abercrombie and Fitch has recently come back into the media spotlight after a Muslim woman, applying to work at the store in 2011, was denied employment because she wanted to wear her hijab.
She decided to sue the company, and in 2015 she won the case.
An issue like this one would likely keep Muslim women from wanting to shop at the store due to the fact that the store does not support the image of religious inclusivity with their clothing.
Therefore, a public display of rejection to a certain type of person, whether that be based on race, culture or religion, automatically rejects any kind of inclusivity to the brand as most women that have a strict religious affiliation will also have a body type, race and age to appeal to