John Lewis announced it will remove all “girls” and “boys” labels from its children’s clothing and store signs in an effort to stop reinforcing gender stereotypes.
John Lewis is the first major retailer in the UK to take this step. The Daily Mail reports the company will also roll out a line of non–gender–specific clothing for kids, including trousers, jumpers, and dresses featuring dinosaurs and spaceships.
In the US, retailer Target launched a gender neutral clothing line for children back in July.
Groups campaigning for gender-neutral clothing and some parents have praised the company for leading the way in gender-neutral clothing, but others have accused it of taking political correctness too far.
The new labels say “Girls & Boys” or “Boys & Girls,” and will be put on all the store’s brand items for children — from newborn to age 14 — including floral dresses.
UK-based group Let Clothes Be Clothes praised the change in a tweet.
We are absolutely thrilled by this announcement from John Lewis!
Alongside changes coming at Clarks Shoes, THIS… https://t.co/3mDf87A4vK
— LetClothesBeClothes (@letclothesbe) September 2, 2017
“It’s fantastic news and we hope other shops and online retailers will now move in the same direction,” the group told the Independent.
“A T-shirt should be just a T-shirt – not a T-shirt just for girls or just for boys.”
Good on #johnlewis. Time to stop imposing unnecessary gender coding and biases into children.
— Saint John Rosey (@SJRosey1963) September 2, 2017
I like that #JohnLewis have introduced gender neutral clothing for kids. Why should kids be confined to certain colours? Choice is best
— Lee W (@LeeWDesigner) September 2, 2017
Of course, some found this change upsetting.
Never been so disgusted in John Lewis – we’ve just bought all our baby boys stuff cot, pram etc I’ve a mind to return it all #johnlewis
— @gab fcuk-eu (@fcuk_eu) September 2, 2017
— Andy Simpson (@simps104) September 2, 2017
Thankfully, one person shared a very practical thought (we’re betting this individual is an actual parent).
#johnlewis People screeching over non-gendered children’s clothing amazes me. Fit, function, cost, durability etc. are all better concerns.
— cubedreamer (@cubedreamer) September 2, 2017
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