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Ageism could be costing fashion brands billions of dollars each year — here's show some in the clothing industry are fighting it

  • Fashion brands around the world are combating what critics call ageism in the fashion industry.
  • In the UK, spending on clothing and footwear by the over 50s will far exceed that of the under 50s by 2040.
  • A minority of fashion and make-up brands go out of their way to attract older consumers while mainstream stores continue to use predominantly young models in their advertising.
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An 80-year-old grandmother in lingerie is a rare sight in the world of fashion.
But that's exactly what Brazilian designer-turned-model Helena Schargel wants to become the norm.

She created this line of lingerie with the over-60s in mind, determined to shatter preconceptions about older age and offer clothing to a demographic long overlooked by big brands.
Hers is one of a few recent attempts to make older women more visible in the industry.
And with wealth and income shifting towards older age groups, many feel that the fashion industry is not only ageist — but is also missing out on a very lucrative gray market.
"The world is getting older," Schargel said. "In about 20, 30 years, there will be a lot more grandmothers than young people, and we need to prepare for that. Companies need to prepare for that."

See how fashion is catering to older markets on Business Insider Today » 

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