A UK department store has become the first in the country to ditch gender labelling in its kids clothing sections.
Parents who walk into a John Lewis department store will no longer find a “boys” and “girls” section – with the online store to soon follow. Instead, shoppers will see a section of pinks, blues, frills and prints all mixed together. Tags on the company’s house-brand clothes also now say “Girls & Boys” or “Boys & Girls”.
It’s a move that’s been widely praised by parents and LGBTI rights advocates for promoting equality and encouraging children to dress in whatever makes them comfortable, whether that be a dress or a spaceship T-shirt – or both.
So, is it time we start introducing gender-free kid’s clothing sections in Australian stores?
Wendy Zakaria thinks so. She’s a mum-of-one and the designer behind Sydney kid’s clothing label Doo Wop Kids. creative director.
Wendy tells Mamamia when she launched her first collection of colourful kids clothing in 2015 she was designing with bright, fun prints in mind, not a specific gender – which is why there are no such labels in her online store.
“We’re definitely head-strong about creating clothes that don’t fall into any categories or any stereotypes. We like to create clothes that are loud,” she says.
The creative director says her two-year-old son loves bright colours and floral prints and she can’t always find what she wants in the blue-and-grey-filled boy’s section of many department stores.
“If I can’t find something for my son, I have no hesitation in going to the girl’s section and finding something there [because] I don’t feel like it should be segregated.”