Major retailer Gap has become the latest clothing giant to announce its intention to create its first ever line of gender-neutral clothes for children, in an attempt to widen the range available to children of both sexes.
The move comes after a letter from a 5-year-old girl was made public. The young lady complained that the range available for girls was not what she wanted, and said that much preferred the range available for boys.
“I like cool shirts like Superman and Batman shirts and race car shirts, too. All your girls’ shirts are pink and princesses and stuff like that. The boys’ shirts are really cool. They have Superman, Batman, rock ’n’ roll, and sports,” wrote Alice. “What about girls who like those things, like me and my friend Olivia? Can you make some cool girls’ shirts, please? Or, can you make a ‘no boys or girls’ section—only a kids’ section?”
The letter came to the attention of the CEO of Gap, Jeff Kirwan, who responded with the intention to follow through with Alice’s request by commissioning a range to appeal to both boys and girls.
“You are right, I think we can do a better job offering even more choices that appeal to everyone. I’ve talked with our designers and we’re going to work on even more fun stuff that I think you’ll like,” Kirwan wrote in his personal reply to Alice.
He also sent her a few examples of T-shirts from the upcoming ranges to gauge her reaction to the clothing. A lot of people have responded very positively to the time Kirwan took the time to acknowledge and properly respond to the communication. Many consumers are very impressed with the seriousness he is placing on following through on his assertions.
Gap is following the lead of international retailers like Target, Uniqlo, and H&M in removing gender-specific labels and creating ranges aimed at catering to both genders. There is no suggestion that the trend is going to end any time soon. Target has in fact extended its commitment to the agenda by branching out into gender-neutral home décor products for children as well.
There are already companies who exclusively aim to creating objective clothing for children, the most popular of which is Gardner and the Gang in the United States. In the UK, Tootsa is the company making a splash in gender-neutral clothing.
H&M became the first established adult clothing chain to embrace gender neutrality with its Denim United line, while many smaller retailers aimed exclusively at objective fashion are coming into clearer focus, such as NotEqual, Muttonhead and TILLYandWILLIAM.
The fact that the gender-neutral movement is gaining international traction suggests that other major retailers may well join the trend in the coming months. The market is a growing one, and the stance being taken by these recognised retailers is a sure sign that it is being taken seriously by both companies and consumers.