Fact Check: Does ThirdLove Offer More Bra Sizes Than Any Other Lingerie Brand?
ThirdLove released 24 new bra sizes this week, and the fashion world is all aflutter with breathless headlines praising the startup for making more bra sizes than any other lingerie brand.
ThirdLove's very own co-founder, David Spector, even made this dubious claim on Twitter. The only (obvious) problem? It's completely and totally false (I would say a lie, but I'm trying to be more tactful in 2018).
While ThirdLove's 70 bra sizes are impressive (especially since these new plus and full bust sizes include multiple shades of nude), ThirdLove is by no means the only bra company "in the world" to offer 70 sizes. And it's distressing to see a company's co-founder quite literally make up "facts" wholecloth.
It took me only a few minutes to come up with a handful of companies that have more than or the same number of sizes as ThirdLove. And I'm not a journalist. I just love underwear. I would expect any journalist - but especially one focusing on fashion - to be at least as good as me at fact-checking.
I've just finished reading Bad Blood by John Carreyrou, which details the rise and fall of another startup, Theranos. While bra sizing is by no means a life-and-death matter on the scale of blood testing, I can't help but think of how quickly the lessons we should have learned from Theranos - a company which lied constantly and had their lies simply repeated as fact by the media - have already been forgotten.
When a company's cofounders misinform the public, it makes it more difficult to trust that company. ThirdLove's 70 sizes are an incredible accomplishment, and the quality of the product stands on its own (I'm personally a fan of ThirdLove's bras). So I just don't understand why the fiction is necessary.
Last year, our columnist Quinne talked about how startup and tech culture hurts the lingerie industry, and I can't help but think of what she said here:
I’m not disparaging companies for trying to make money. After all, that’s the point of a business. But to claim you’re doing things no one has ever done before? To claim you’re fixing things that are broken in ways you haven’t tried to understand? And then to claim you’re helping people? That’s not improving the industry for anyone. That’s just taking advantage of people.
America loves a disruptor. We love the bright, the new, and the shiny. But we shouldn't like deception. Or people that trade in misinformation. With all the "fake news" that's happening in the world today, can we please at least try keep it out of lingerie?