John Lewis becomes first UK retailer to remove gender labelling from children’s clothing
John Lewis has decided to remove all gender labelling from their children’s clothing in a move that is considered to be radical by some. From now on labels will simply say “Boys & Girls.” Though their website still has different sections, all the clothing in store can be found in one place. Alongside this instore change John Lewis is also releasing a unisex line with spaceship tops and dinosaur dresses.
The move is a step towards gender-neutrality in a time where raising children in a gender-neutral way is gaining ground and popularity. Sweden has been the forerunner on this front for a while and gender-neutral schools are yielding some positive results in recent studies showing that children are more likely to interact with children of a different gender and less likely to adhere to gender stereotypes.
Some people, however, responded negatively to John Lewis’ going as far as stating they’d be boycotting the store. They believe that the removal of gender labels will cause confusion in consumers and – ultimately – in children as well.
You have let us all down John Lewis, if only people stopped pandering to the PC brigade. There are only two sexes, male or female.
— lorraine (@lorrainewatmou1) September 2, 2017
John Lewis’s introduction of ‘gender neutral’ kids clothes is a worrying sign of the times. Expect mental health issues to rocket. pic.twitter.com/cP3ayQCwd7
— Rob Howland (@HowlandRobin) September 2, 2017
Others lauded John Lewis for a move in the right direction. Just this year there have been several instances where retailers were called out for sexist clothing. In July Morrisons got into hot water for tops that suggested girls have big smiles and boys have big ideas. More recently the National Trust received backlash for selling pink hats reading “future footballers wife.”
— Dan Rebellato (@DanRebellato) September 2, 2017
“the left are too sensitive and are offended by everything”
*John Lewis puts dinosaurs on a dress*
“THIS PC BULLSHIT IS RUINING OUR COUNTRY”
— TechnicallyRon (@TechnicallyRon) September 3, 2017
If only the folk who’re angry about John Lewis were this outraged about what the Tories are doing to an entire country 😊
— T O R E 🌙 (@ohmoonbone) September 3, 2017
Of course, one store ending it’s gender labelling doesn’t mean you are now forbidden from putting boys in trousers and girls in dresses. Some girls might like flowers and ponies, as might some boys. The idea is to open up options to children so that they can express themselves and feel comfortable in the clothes they wear – free from judgment.
Though not everybody may be on John Lewis’ side, we can all agree that, boy or girl, dinosaurs. are. awesome.