A national sizing survey is set to launch in Italy at the end of this month in a bid to help retailers and brands ensure the clothes they sell offer the best size and fit for the Italian market.

The 'SizeItaly' survey is being carried out by Human Solutions GmbH, which makes body scanning equipment, and its Italian subsidiary Sistemi Assyst. 

It is being based on a similar SizeGermany initiative which took place between 2007 and 2009, and plans to measure around 6,000 men, women and children by the end of next year using 3D body scanning technology.

The last Italian measurement programme took place 20 years ago, and the updated results will be used to deliver market share tables and body dimension statistics to the industry. Additional evaluation of the data in line with European guidelines will also simplify the introduction of the European size system in Italy.

Companies taking part in SizeItaly will also have access to new size tables as a starting point for improving apparel size and fit.

"We know the customers who come into our stores, but not the ones who don't correspond to the size and fit of our models," explains Maurizio Malagosti of Max Mara.

"We are participating in the SizeItaly project because we're convinced that we will obtain better information for our future sizing and fitting in the Italian market."

There will be 10 to 12 measurement sites in the north and south of the country, with subjects divided into nine different groups between the ages of 6 and 75. An additional survey will look at things such as purchase behaviour, ease of finding the right garment size, and brand loyalty.

The results will be made available online at the iSize body dimensions site, where they can be used interactively, directly integrated into the development processes of participating companies, or compared with data from other countries.