A Size Inclusive Activewear Line Changing The Game

by Jodie Layne

When you visit the Kickstarter page for new activewear line Superfit Hero, you're presented with a question that's probably been on the minds of many: "Do we really need another brand of activewear?" The brand follows the inquiry up with a very enthusiastic yes. Superfit Hero believes that the world needs a go-to body positive and size inclusive activewear line, and that's what it has promised to offer. It looks like 539 Kickstarter backers support the cause as well, to the tune of over $45,000. What makes Superfit Hero so different and so necessary, though?

Brand founder Micki Krimmel has said that she grew the brand once she got involved in the fitness world as an adult, after a childhood spent in intellectual pursuits while hating her body. "It wasn't until I found roller derby that I learned how much joy and confidence I could get from pushing myself to my athletic potential. Roller derby and Crossfit taught me that fitness can be about more than losing weight and yo-yo diets," she wrote on Superfit Hero's website.

Being an entrepreneur, Krimmel saw a gap in the marketplace that prevented other women from finding the same joy in physical activity: There was very little performance activewear available for women above a size 12. Considering that the average woman's size in the U.S. is a 14, she wanted to provide all women with quality workout gear and inspiration. That's why all her designs will be available in sizes XS through 3XL.

Each collection is also inspired by female athletes, or "heroes," as the brand refers to them, and is designed with their aesthetic in mind. The athletes then put the gear to the test and provide feedback before becoming the faces of the collection. "If Hollywood won't give us female superheroes to admire, we will create our own," reads the brand's Kickstarter page. The first collection is inspired by — who else? — Los Angeles Roller Derby Team, Angel City Derby Girls.

The materials Superfit Hero utilizes are durable and high quality and the pants are created in the states with technology to keep them from slipping, chafing, and becoming see-through. Designs also feature eye-catching metallic accents and are explicitly feminist. Seriously, one of their shirts literally spells out the brand's ethos.

Aside from designing activewear, the brand is also "creating inspiring content to highlight Superfit Heroes from our community and to share a body positive, inclusive message of health, confidence, and fitness," as written on the About page.

With plus size athletes from ESPN cover star Amanda Bingson to plus size runner and model Erica Schenk making headlines of late, this year has already been a banner one for inspiring plus size athletes. Superfit Hero has centered its entire brand around accessible, real-life, amateur athletes and shares their stories in blog posts and videos on the site. From plus size pole dancing teacher Rox "The Diva" Mays to a 17-year-old derby player named Lois Betancourt, the brand features a wide variety of relatable athletes who have inspiring stories and "superpowers."

Betancourt is featured in the brand's latest video as she shares her complicated relationship with physical activity. An avid figure skater as a child, she was told that her body didn't fit the mold of an athlete in that sport. She even had a hard time finding coaches who would teach her advanced moves and costumes that would fit her body. It was only when she discovered roller derby that she finally felt welcomed, strong, and at home. "You have a purpose on your team, as a blocker or a jammer — you are needed. And I have this thing where I like to feel needed," Betancourt said in the video.

So, yes: It seems like we really do need another activewear line in the game to help women learn how to love physical activity again — and to realize that it's possible for there to be room to feel like it loves them back.

Images: Courtesy Superfit Hero; Superfit Hero/Vimeo