Did you know that being overweight in India could mean you are paying extra for the clothes you buy? Diet Sabya a popular Instagram page based in India, shared a series of posts this week lashing out at Indian retails brands who are charging their plus-sized customers extra money for clothes, and calling it “Fat Tax”.
“Hello Fat Tax… just want to use the word inclusive and still body-shame…” posted the Instagram page, noting that designer wear could cost Rs7,000 (Dh345) more for overweight customers.
Diet Sabya, followed by the likes of Bollywood actors Sonam Kapoor and Alia Bhatt, usually shares posts exposing designers who sell copies or imitations of bigger brands, on Instagram.
Recent Diet Sabya’s post highlights the difference in cost for overweight women. Apparently, Indian retail brands charge extra money if you are a size L (large) or XL (extra-large) claiming that plus-sized outfits need more material.
The discussion about ‘fat’ tax started when Instagrammer Aishwarya Subramanyam called out Indian designers for charging more for her large-sized clothing. Diet Sabya re-shared her post as an Instagram story on November 1, and several followers started replying with their shocking experiences.
Many designers also came forward to clarify that the “need for extra fabric” was only an excuse as it did not majorly impact the production cost of a garment.
Screenshots shared by Diet Sabya showed that an anonymous user had replied: “I paid 60K (Dh2,960) more for my lehenga (traditional embroidered skirt) when I don’t even fit in the ‘plus-size’ category... they said I am larger than their size generic chart. I wear a UK 12-14, I had to pay almost the same price I paid for my engagement gown as a 'fat tax' for my wedding lehenga.”
Some users mentioned that they were often treated badly by staff at designer stores for being over a size 10.
Highlighting that male customers were facing a similar issue, one user wrote: “Shirts become expensive, suit lengths take more fabric.”
Some users took the opportunity to laud Indian designers such as Shubhika Davda and Sanjay Garg for not including such policies.
The “fat tax” is not something new. As per international media reports, in 2018, a popular British retailer made headlines and faced accusations of instituting a “fat tax” after selling select plus-size garments for 15 per cent more than the comparable garments in straight sizes.
After the lash out on Instagram, some Indian brands including designer duo Gauri and Nainika, and @fuelthestore said they were deciding to remove the “fat tax” on clothes they sell.