John Lewis introduces ‘genderless’ labelling for childreswear, launches unisex kid’s range
John Lewis has become the first major UK retailer to introduce ‘gender-neutral’ labelling, ditching ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ tags from its childrenswear range. It has also scrapped separate kidswear sections in its stores and also launched a new unisex clothing line.
The retailer’s own-brand clothing will now simply say ‘Girls & Boys’ or ‘Boys & Girls’, although school uniforms are the only type of clothing that has not yet been switched. The John Lewis website still includes boys and girls sections, but this is currently under review, the retailer said.
Caroline Bettis, the head of childrenswear, 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.”
The new unisex range of clothing has been introduced and designed to be worn by both boys and girls. The range includes baby grows, tops, trousers and dresses with dinosaur, safari and spacecraft print designs.
Campaigners said the move was a positive step. “It’s fantastic news and we hope other shops and online retailers will now move in the same direction,” the campaign group Let Clothes Be Clothes said. “A T-shirt should be just a T-shirt – not a T-shirt just for girls or just for boys.”
But Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said the move could “confuse” customers. He told The Daily Mail: “I have no idea what would possess John Lewis to do this. Boys and girls labels and signs are informative.
“I think removing them could be very confusing for the consumer. It appears political correctness continues to march and, whether it is going in the right direction, is a point for debate. I cannot see many customers buying a dress for their six-year-old boy.”