Screen shots show plus-size items at Peter Alexander cost an extra $10 compared to identical items in regular sizes. Credit:peteralexander.com.au
Pyjama brand Peter Alexander has defended charging higher prices for plus-sized garments, citing "different patterns" in the manufacturing process for larger sizes.
The brand came under fire on social media on Thursday after customers on its website spotted many plus-sized styles were $10 dearer than their size 8-14 equivalents.
"I am one of the plus-sized customers and agree that it seems unfair to have been charged $10 more for the navy pj's," Margaret Ingham posted on the brand's Facebook page, which featured many similar comments.
"You can’t use the argument because you 'use less fabric' [for smaller styles] because if that’s the case for your smaller sizes you would be charging less per size! Absolute garbage!" wrote Tash Britt.
Some customers queried why the men's range, which is available in seven sizes, had flat pricing, while the women's range was split into "regular" and "plus-sized" styles, leading some customers to accuse the brand of charging a "pink" or "fat" tax.
As of Friday, the website was still showing a price difference between the "PA Plus" range and regular sizes.
In a statement, Peter Alexander said the plus-sized range used different patterns and the brand produced smaller runs of each style, which meant prices had to be slightly higher than the regular range.
"To ensure comfort and that the fit is right, we utilise a different pattern to our regular collection while still maintaining a beautiful garment," the statement said. "It is these different patterns, along with the size of the production run and to a lesser extent fabric consumption that impacts the price of the styles. We try and limit this as much as possible, and as the category and production grows, we hope to achieve parity across our collections."
Peter Alexander is not the first brand to face a consumer backlash for seemingly charging larger people more to wear its clothes.
Last year, singer Christina Aguilera was slammed for charging $US5 ($7) more for larger sizes in her tour merchandise, before the prices were adjusted.
International brands Old Navy and New Look have also been the subject of similar controversies.
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