Department store John Lewis made a huge announcement this weekend – from now on, their in-store childrenswear section won’t be split into boys and girls, but approached neutrally.
Labelling has changed, and all of their own-brand clothing will be marked as ‘Girls & Boys’ or ‘Boys & Girls’. You’ll still find flowery tops and baby blue shirts, but in amongst it, there will also be dresses covered in dinosaurs and pastel items suitable for all – and no restrictions on who can wear what.
The store’s school section will still be split into girls and boys, but they say that there are plans in place to change this going forward.
It’s been hailed as a huge step forward by some parents, who’ve been criticising high street retailers for years over gender-stereotyped approaches.
Some stores have been criticised over the years for any girls’ superhero items including pink glitter, or slogan tops like ‘cutie’ compared with boys’ clothes featuring rockets and ‘future scientist’. The new John Lewis gender neutral line will let boys and girls wear what they want – whatever their interests.
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.”
Twitter’s been pretty pleased too. Here’s what people have been saying…
This is excellent! A step in the right direction and hopefully other big stores will follow suit. I looking at YOU @nextofficial
— Roxy Stafford (@ouestlacamera) September 2, 2017
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
Great trailblazing by @johnlewisretail on their non gender specific clothes labelling. Boys get to wear pastels, girls can rock dinosaurs 👍🏻
— Susie Verrill (@susiejverrill) September 2, 2017
To us, this is a simple, common sense move, helping parents & children to freely pick the clothes they like best: https://t.co/uxDAbRawYx
— Let Toys Be Toys (@LetToysBeToys) September 4, 2017
I'm so excited by this. It's powerful ❤️
John Lewis gets rid of 'boys' and 'girls' labels in children's clothing https://t.co/0NhznIUMeO
— Tara Benson (@tarabluesky) September 4, 2017