Monki targets body dysmorphic disorder with IWD capsule and campaign

Brands are gearing up for International Women’s Day initiatives and H&M Group’s Monki label is joining forces again with UK-based Body Dysmorphic Disorder Foundation (BDDF) to further raise awareness around body dysmorphic disorder (BDD).


The fashion sector as a whole has often come in for criticism given its promotion on unrealistic ideals, so it’s a strong statement for the brand to make.

As part of the initiative, it’s launching a limited-edition underwear collection featuring positive affirmation messages, “serving as a reminder to the wearer that they are unique, and that they are more than their reflection and what they see on the outside”. 

The capsule launches in all Monki European stores this week. It includes two mesh bras and briefs. One set features positive affirmations on the inside of the underwear for the wearer to read, but also reflected the correct way when looking at the mirror, “for an instant confidence boost”. The second set features various body illustrations, one of the brand’s signature prints. 

The company is also making a donation to BDDF to support its work and expand on educational resources. 

And it will “showcase a series of personal portraits from three media volunteers who have suffered from BDD and have used their experiences to educate and inform the public about this under-diagnosed and distressing disorder”.

They describe how it started, how it showed up, their lowest point, and how they worked through it, as well as giving advice for sufferers or those close to someone who may have BDD.

The social-first campaign that comes with the capsule will include posts and videos with Simone Van Starkenburg, Brand & Marketing Director at Monki, saying that “as a brand which creates fashion for girls and young women, we have a responsibility to our community to be as inclusive and transparent as possible when it comes to body and beauty representation. Diverse casting and transparent retouch guidelines are two of the areas we have worked with since day one”.

The latest move follows Monki supporting BDDF in November 2021 when it started a petition directed at the EU Parliament calling for transparency on altered images on social media. 

Since the petition’s launch, BDDF has managed to accumulate over 40,000 signatures and has been pushing for a UK legislative change. Such laws have already been introduced in Norway and France.

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