What Makes Tutti Frutti a Gender Neutral Brand?
Over the weekend John Lewis announced that it would be scrapping its boys and girls labels on clothing and putting all the childrenswear into one section. Their own brand clothing would simply say “girls & boys” or “boys & girls”. No longer would kidswear be defined by gender based on colour or style. Styles hadn't changed - John Lewis was simply proving that children could wear anything they liked - we don’t need shops to tell us what is for boys and what is for girls.
Caroline Bettis, the head of childrenswear at John Lewis, said: “We do not want to reinforce gender stereotypes within our John Lewis collections and instead want to provide greater choice and variety to our customers, so that the parent or child can choose what they would like to wear.”
It generated more views and comments that any article I have posted before - and opinions are divided. There are those, like me, who fully support the move, and others who either don’t understand the importance of this move and think it is unnecessary. Those that feel by removing labels the shopping experience will become confusing and our children will grow up unable to buy clothes that suit them. Who knew that childrenswear could be so divisive??
Let Clothes Be Clothes
Let Clothes Be Clothes has been around a while and calls on retailers in the UK to support choice and end the use of gender stereotypes in the design and marketing of children's clothes. It is a brilliant cause and great news that a large retailer like John Lewis is finally on board with this.
Let Clothes Be Clothes has been tirelessly on the media circuit since the story broke over the weekend. Responding to tweets, comments and blogs and even appears on Good Morning Britain to ‘debate’ the issue with Piers Morgan.
It's not about dressing girls in boys clothes or boys in girls clothes. It's about creating clothes that are equal. Clarks recently launched it's new school shoes - the boys shoe was called 'Leader' and the girls was called 'Dolly Babe' and this "future footballers wife' hat was recently seen on sale at a National Trust park. Boys t-shirts are emblazened with slogans like "cheeky chappy" or "trouble is my middle name" - reinforcing the gender stereotypes.
But all this talk of genderless kids and boys in dresses just detracts from the real story. That children deserve equal choices. They deserve to be able to choose and wear exactly what they like.
As a mum to a boy and two girls and a childrenswear seller, I am full of praise for John Lewis for this bold move. The sea of navy and khaki joggers in the boys clothing sections was what prompted me to start sewing for my children in the first place. Then, as my girls grew I realised that the “Little Princess” slogan t-shirts were just not for me and my range expanded into cool dresses and leggings that every child can easily and comfortably wear.
How is Tutti Frutti unisex?
Whilst the world discusses and debates the pros and cons of removing labels from kidswear I want to share with you what makes Tutti Frutti a gender neutral brand.
1. No boys and girls labels
I firmly believe that clothes are just clothes and don't have a gender. As long as they are comfy, does it really matter?
I made a conscious effort at the start of my small business journey not to separate my clothing into boys and girls. You can shop by age or style on the Tutti Frutti Clothing website but not gender.
You can pick what suits your child without feeling that you have selected something "meant for the opposite gender".
Tutti Frutti Clothng Panda Leggings - for boys and girls!
2. One fit for all
If you have a little girl, you might have noticed that girls summer shorts are a lot shorter than the boys in the same size. Or you've noticed that t-shirts are smaller and more fitted - even in the younger child sizes.
I think that clothes for children should just be fun and comfy. Girls don't need tighter fit t-shirts and boys aren't the only ones who want big pockets.
Which is why Tutti Frutti clothing is just one fit for boys and girls - comfort and equality for all!
It's important to pop in here that if your child prefers a tighter fit or smaller shorts, then that's OK. But tighter, smaller clothes shouldn't just be labelled for girls.
And I think that's about it...it really isn't hard. Don't label clothes for boys of girls - let them make that choice. And don't make girls and boys clothes different to each other. (That doesn't mean it all has to be one, baggy fit by the way....!)
Shop our range of award winning gender neutral clothes now!
Oh hurrah! After dressing my own six kids for over 21 years, this move is LONG overdue! I still struggle to find pieces that have been specifically designed to be unisex/gender neutral, particularly in Australia where we live. This is why I started my very own brand to address this gap in the market. Please do take a look over at littlejoyclothing.com and see for yourself :)
Dear Ali, what a wonderful blog post! We totally agree that it’s time to leave gender stereotypes behind. Whether girl or boy – everyone should be allowed to wear what they want! We at Orbasics www.orbasics.com keep everything unisex as well. Our collection is made of 100% organic cotton and we love to create timeless unicolour designs that girls and boys can share 💛 Many greetings!
Hi great article. We at mambotango.ie also offer a gender neutral clothing line. We offer a high quality, colourful practical clothing wear that’s trendy and comfy. We believe in letting kids be kids.
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