The Maternity Market and Inclusivity and Diversity

The notion of body positivity embraced by the fashion industry is a significant move as it
acknowledges and celebrates various social groups in terms of size, race, sexuality, disability,
etc. In that sense, the fashion industry has expanded to question what is considered ‘normal’.

Talking about body positivity, this movement acknowledges and accepts the existence of various
kinds of bodies. It also strives to educate the consumers and the cultural production industry by
raising awareness within them and addressing the problematic discourses surrounding the

desired body type. Moreover, with the COVID-19 pandemic, inclusivity has become a necessity
rather than a trend. As mentioned earlier, various social groups are to be acknowledged by the

fashion industry, and few of them are the soon-to-be-mother and the motherhood group. So,
where do the fashion and e-commerce women-centric industries fall in the current market?

The pregnancy period is a bittersweet phase. Some women have their ups and downs and
also merriment. When it comes to hardships surrounding the pregnancy and postpartum phase,
wardrobe, feeding babies in public spaces, bodily changes etc are some of the issues faced by
women. But to what extent are the e-commerce and fashion industries recognising and
acknowledging such issues through their products? Some individuals dress up hesitantly, being
extremely aware of their body curves and bodily changes. The fashion industry is slowly
recognising the realities of the maternity phase, with celebrities flaunting their pregnant bellies in
award functions and premiers. Rihanna confidently flaunted her belly through her apparel
choices; she wore skin-tight dresses and crop tops showing off her belly to award functions and
ceremonies. Several Indian companies exclusively deal with women-centric maternity apparel.
At the same time, as earlier mentioned, the maternity phase expands to include difficulties such
as breastfeeding in public spaces, so some women prefer to wear clothes to engage in
breastfeeding conveniently. In light of this, the fashion industry bears considerable responsibility
in responding to women's psychological and physical issues. The fashion industry thus has to go
beyond apparel fashion to include other maternity-related products like breastfeeding pumps,
breastfeeding pillows, etc., empowering women during their pregnancy and postpartum phase.
One such company is Importikaah, whose products include but are not limited to maternity-
related products like maternity bras for breastfeeding, baby knee pads, postpartum shapewear,

etc. Importikaah seeks to cover women's lifestyle products to bring about a convenient style of

Inclusivity and diversity in the fashion industry should strive to develop and nurture
confidence among women. It should recognise the nuances and personal experiences women
face during their maternity phase because this period is unique and distinct to each woman. How
quickly and efficiently the women-centric fashion or e-commerce industry can grasp such
nuances is something to think about.

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