The Fat Lad At The Back Prevent Breast Cancer Charity Jersey
Proud Not Perfect
FLAB has consistently promoted a message of inclusivity, body positivity and cycling for all. We hope the message will empower people to get more active and give them the confidence to feel good in their own bodies.
Prevent Breast Cancer
The UK’s only charity entirely dedicated to the prediction and prevention of breast cancer. The charity funds research into four key areas: genetics, preventative drugs, early detection and screening, and diet and lifestyle.
1 in 9 women and 1 in 1000 men in the UK will get breast cancer every year and Prevent Breast Cancer's research is unequivocal - positive lifestyle changes can dramatically reduce our chances of getting not just breast cancer but many other types of cancer.
At a time when obesity is becoming a national crisis, raising awareness of the benefits of physical activity and getting people into the saddle has never been more important. PBC share our passion for encouraging and supporting people to live a healthier lifestyle and gettiing them excited about challenging themselves and overcoming obstacles.
This isn’t just a Prevent Breast Cancer jersey, it’s a jersey for the Fat Lad At The Back community as well and offers PBC a unique opportunity to spread their message to more people whose lifestyle choices could potentially increase their risk of cancer.
Similarly, our partnership with PBC offers their people access to one of the most inspirational and supportive communities on Facebook.
PBC riders will be wearing this jersey when they take part in the *RIDELONDON later this year. There are 100's of charities involved in RIDELONDON and we wanted ours to be the one everyone was talking about – Fat Lad At The Back is an edgy brand and we wanted an edgy jersey, something typically cheeky, perhaps a little controversial.
A bra jersey was our first idea and it is a widely accepted and used symbol for breast cancer charities. As indeed are 'boobs' - you may have seen breast shaped buns, cakes, T shirts etc. used by various charities to prompt conversation and fund raise.
We looked at the other charity jerseys which were much of a muchness, save for the use of the different colours and logos of the charities but none of them said anything – that’s not what we are about.
We are of course aware of the sensitivity of mastectomy and body scaring is a reality for many Fat Lad At The Back customers, particularly those who have had bariatric surgery. Many of our customers radically challenge the stereotypical ideal of what a 'body should look like'. We wanted a jersey which would challenge this too.
The pattern on the corset bodice has been created using the PBC logo and colours and the shaping of the design means that his jersey will look great on everyone – no matter what their size or shape.
Is any other colour so controversial? We know some despise pink and feel that it stereotypes women but It’s also the corporate colour of Prevent Breast Cancer and like it or not, one of the most consistent best-selling colours for women’s-wear. To give ourselves the best chance of raising money for the charity, we must go with a majority colour scheme - it really is a simple as that.
Definition “characterized by or showing prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex.”
It's vitally important that people understand that this isn't a women’s only jersey. The jersey has purposely been designed and manufactured for both men and women. 75% of Fat Lad At The Back customers and an even higher number of *RIDELONDON participants are men.
Fat Lad At The Back is a body positive brand with a serious message about inclusivity and empowering people into a more active lifestyle.
We have created a jersey which highlights our bodies, the FLAB body positive ethos and which sparks thought and conversation.
They say behind every great man there’s a women and Fat Lad At The Back is no exception. Women outnumber men 3 to 1 and we are headed by a husband and wife, at least one of whom is an ardent feminist – we accept that everyone's version of feminism is different and our feminism may not be yours, but we don't make decisions which we believe to be even remotely sexist or negative towards the sisterhood!
It’s never our objective to offend people but it’s not always easy and we’ve been courting controversy since we dared to put the F word on a jersey and make cycle wear in large sizes.
We were genuinely surprised when we first started Fat Lad At The Back (FLAB) and we offended some people (Kelly Hoppen on Dragons Den included). They thought we were ridiculing fat people and didn’t think it was appropriate to have FAT on a jersey, but the offended were in the minority and it occurred to us that being offended said more about a person’s attitude to fat, than it did the brand, so we pushed on regardless.
In doing so we have empowered 1000’s of people who had previously been ostracized from cycling and sport by their size, their fitness level or their mental health, into happier and healthier lives.
We already know that this jersey offends some people, but we haven’t entered into its design lightly. Quite the contrary, it is borne out of extensive discussions with Prevent Breast Cancer and feedback from breast cancer patients, supporters and charity stakeholders.
Of course, everyone has a right to their opinion but does that mean we should defer to those who are offended, even if they are in the minority? If we all have a right to an opinion, whose is most important? Does our opinion and what we are achieving no longer count because someone else doesn’t like it?
It’s hard to find a balance between challenging society and not offending someone, but whilst ever the majority like what we do, shouldn’t we keep doing it and focus on the bigger picture of what we are achieving - of the barriers we are breaking, the lives we are enhancing and the society we are changing?
Fat Lad At The Back
12 months after we launched our co-founder was named one of Britain's 27 most disruptive entrepreneurs of 2014 by The Telegraph. We’ve even inspired government incentives to get people fit!
We’ve not just breaking the mold of the typical cyclists, we’re creating new ones in all shapes and sizes. We don’t just make gear that’s wider, we make gear that fits properly, performs perfectly and makes the wearer look and feel great. Just because you are fat, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have access to the best fabrics, the best manufacturing and the best cycle wear.
We have the largest size range on the market and were the first UK manufacturer of cycle wear to make larger sizes and promote cycling to ‘normal people’.
We don’t use models in our photographs, we use real people, we have set up a network of FLAB brand ambassadors who run local Social Rides aimed at getting people into cycling and every year we bring our community together for what has quickly become known as the friendliest Sportive in the events calendar.
Our partnership will help us to raise funds for Prevent Breast Cancer (50% off jersey profits goes straight to the charity), raise awareness for their incredible work, empower people into a healthier lifestyle and drive social change.
We are the Fat Lads And Fat Lasses At The Back – Join us and be proud!