Major retailers such as Asos, Tesco, Next, Monsoon, New Look and River Island have thrown their support behind a nationwide initiative to create a universal sizing system for clothes.
According to The Daily Mail, the Shape GB campaign will consist of a survey to take measurements of 30,000 adults to determine how body shapes have changed since the study on body shapes took place 17 years ago.
The news comes as retailers grapple with an increasing number of clothes bought online being returned due to inconsistent sizes.
Shape GB will see retailers encourage customers to take part in the survey by using a smartphone app to determine their body volume indicator (BVI), which is an update to the body mass index (BMI) measurement.
The BVI system will be used to measure the weight distribution in certain areas of the body, namely the arms, legs, chest, pelvis and abdomen.
“There is a lack of consistency in sizing across different clothing brands and the aim of Shape GB is to use body volume as a new way of measuring body shape to help us find better ways of resolving this for the customer,” said Richard Barnes, the founder of Select Research – the firm that is running Shape GB.
Barnes added that body shapes have changed since the last survey 17 years ago because of “natural evolution and lifestyle choices”.
Recently, H&M said it would update its clothing sizes for women to make them consistent with standard UK sizing in response to years of widespread criticism.