Hikers stood on a mountain peak with their arms raised in celebration

How We’re Improving Size Inclusivity In The Outdoors

The outdoors is for everyone. Which is why we’re working towards greater size inclusivity, ensuring everyone can confidently adventure in the right kit for them. To help us get there, we’re proud to partner with Every Body Outdoors to support their important work.  


In this blog one of their founding members, Steph Wetherell shares more about the organisation, their work and how together we’re supporting plus size inclusivity in the outdoors. 

Women from every body outdoors organisation posing together for a photo. The Every Body Outdoors logo is on the right.

Every Body Outdoors’ Mission

A lot of people in the plus size community feel unwelcome in existing outdoors groups, or have had negative experiences with being left behind, judged for their size or made to feel like they’re too slow. Every Body Outdoors exists to fight for plus size inclusivity in the outdoor movement. As part of this, we’re working with brands and retailers to improve the range and fit of plus size clothing that’s available. We’re also providing online and physical spaces where our community can gain confidence and skills in the outdoors.

How Every Body Outdoors Began

The founding team met on social media in late 2021, bonding over our shared challenges with finding the clothing and kit that we needed to participate in outdoor activities. There’s very limited technical clothing available above a size 18 (and pretty much nothing above a size 20) and yet there are thousands of plus size people doing these activities - all having to make do with poor quality and badly fitting kit and clothing. From the difficulty of finding a waterproof coat for days on the mountains to the lack of climbing harnesses that fit our bodies, we decided that enough was enough and it was time to try and create change within the industry.

Women stood together in nature taking a break from a hike in the wild.

Every Body Outdoors & Cotswold Outdoor

To build confidence and community, we’re running a regional programme, with local Every Body Outdoors groups organising walks around the country so people can get outside in a safe and inclusive environment near to where they live. This is supported by Cotswold Outdoor and other select partners with the aim to expand it in the coming years. We also run hill skills and navigation courses specifically for plus size people, giving participants a chance to learn navigation, route planning and safety skills in a supportive and understanding space. 

Cotswold Outdoor recently joined one of Every Body Outdoors' Regional Walks to get to know some of the members and further understand the challenges plus-sized people face in the outdoors. We walked up to Cleeve Hill near Cheltenham and could see for miles! To represent Cotswold Outdoor, there was South Cerney store manager Emily Gray and Marketing Executive, Amy Fry. Prior to the walk, Every Body Outdoors held a 'Kit Pool' event where plus-sized members could try on a range of kit, some of which had been gifted by Cotswold Outdoor. 

Person studying an ordnance map during a hike with freinds.

How Every Body Outdoors Is Making Change

Over the last year we’ve worked with brands and retailers to help them understand the issues with current plus size clothing - for example trouser rise being too low, or jackets not accounting for the way plus size bodies change in shape. We’re also asking companies for accurate size charts - most of the currently available plus size kit is only available online, and without accurate size charts, it’s challenging to identify what might fit our bodies.  


We also offer honest reviews of the clothing and kit that’s currently available, to help our community understand how these items fit different body shapes. Plus, we’ve created a kit pool, supported by Cotswold Outdoor, to allow community members to try on these different items at our in-person events and courses. Lastly, we’re campaigning for better representation of plus size bodies by brands, retailers and the outdoors media. There’s often little or no visibility of bodies like ours, and even the brands that do make clothing in larger sizes aren’t using plus size models, leaving many people to think that the outdoors isn’t for plus size people. 


Our message to the industry is that plus size people are in the outdoors, and we deserve the clothing and kit to be able to participate safely and comfortably in these activities. Bodies come in different shapes and sizes, just like mountains, and the outdoors should be open to all. 

Person studying an ordnance map during a hike with freinds.

How You Can Get Involved

You can find out more about our work on our website, follow us on Instagram or Facebook, and if you’re plus size you can join our Facebook Group. If you would like to be a supportive ally to our work, share and amplify what we do, and challenge brands and retailers to do better on their size inclusivity. 

To learn more about our extended size range, click here. For more kit advice, visit your nearest Cotswold Outdoor store to talk to our experts. 

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