Meet the Aussie activewear brand that’s ditched ‘large’ sizes

Meet the Aussie activewear brand that’s ditched ‘large’ sizes

Do women’s sizing charts make you feel uncomfortable? Duke the Label has done away with conventional sizing to give you activewear you can feel good about wearing.

It’s likely happened to all of us at some point in our lives. A request for a different size in the change rooms followed by a judgemental sales assistant.

Rhiannon Duke’s sister had been shopping for clothes at the popular Robina Town Centre in Brisbane. She’d also just had her second child. Picking out a garment, a staff member had been so dismissive because it didn’t come in a larger size, the new mum called her sister in tears.

It was that moment that spurred Rhiannon to take it upon herself to launch an activewear line that ditches conventional sizing language to be more inclusive. Thus, Duke the Label was born in 2018.

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At Duke, ‘curvy’ replaced ‘large’ (“I went through so many different words,”). ‘Large’, the 23-year-old felt, had negative connotations relating to body image while ‘curve’ was a word that was celebrated. The feedback from her customer base was so positive larger brands have tried to do the same.

“That’s what made me feel like, ‘If someone who’s got a big following is trying to copy what I do, then I might be I must be doing the right thing,” she says.

The harsh reality of the activewear industry is that it has, for so long, perpetuated the idea that only skinny people are healthy and worthy of wearing workout gear, but Rhiannon firmly believes size should have nothing to do with wearing clothes that are comfortable and flattering.

“Our bodies shouldn’t have to fit into society’s preconceived notions of what a ‘fitness physique’ is, instead, we should all feel empowered to get active, no matter what size we are,” she says.

Rhiannon still gets DMs from the occasional confused customer wanting clarification on what size they are, and she’s fine with that. What’s this indicates though, is that women have been so hardwired to accept traditional size charts that it’s going to take some time to unlearn it. But the reviews speak for themselves.

“I am obsessed with these tights. My thighs are a bit chunky, but I feel most comfortable in these compared to other brands,” writes one.

“With my size, it’s super hard to find tights that fit! And these fit like a GLOVE,” writes another.

It’s clear this movement is only just getting started.

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