Columbia Sportswear

Columbia Sportswear by M.O. Stevens (CC BY)

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Hikers who wear plus sizes have long grumbled about having to pay more for outdoor jackets and other wearable gear, but one major maker of activewear is putting a halt to the practice of charging more for bigger sizes.

Starting this spring, Columbia Sportswear will sell its collection of men's and women's clothing for the same price regardless of size, according to Glossy, an online fashion news site.

Portland, Oregon-based Columbia, like many clothing makers, has charged more for larger sizes to make up for the use of additional fabric, make needed design changes, cover increased shipping costs, and account for other factors.

GalleryWhere to Find Cheap Plus-Size Clothing Online

Columbia has offered a range of sizes for 20 years, but spring 2023 marks the first season the company plans to offer larger sizes without a heftier price tag to match.

The move comes as consumers demand a broader range of plus-size activewear. Retailers like REI have responded to the calls by pushing manufacturers to make sizes that fit those body types. 

And the market is considerable: Plus-size women’s clothing, for example, takes in about $200 billion and is growing by almost 5% a year, Glossy reported, citing statistics from Research and Markets.

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