Phew, where has February gone already? We can’t believe it’s the start of a new month – we would normally say it’s time to start thinking about Spring children’s clothing, but this week the UK seems to have fallen back into deepest, darkest winter! The coats and wellies might just have to stay out a little longer!
Anyway, February has been a bumper month for fab news stories around kids clothing so we thought we would have a little round-up of our favourite stories, including the fab campaign from River Island and Sarah Jessica Parkers comments on gender neutral clothing.
Ditch the Label
As soon as we saw the new River Island campaign our little hearts melted (even in this freezing cold weather!), as the high-street retailer has decided to feature a really diverse mix of children in their latest adverts for their kids clothing range.
Teaming up with international anti-bullying campaigners Ditch The Label, River Island want to spread the message that “labels are for clothes, not kids” – what a great sentiment, and one that we definitely agree with here at Kidult and Co.
The kids featured in the campaign modelling like absolute stars, are aged between two and 11, and each have been diagnosed with a disability, including Down’s syndrome and cerebral palsy.
All the children starring in the advert are signed up to Zebedee Management the UK’s first talent agency for people with physical disabilities or learning difficulties.
Speaking of the collaboration, Laura Johnson and Zoe Proctor, of Zebedee Management, said, “We hope that other brands will follow the example set by River Island and ensure that their campaigns are more representative of our diverse society. We want disability diversity to become the norm in advertising and are working very hard to make this happen.”
Ditch The Label are an amazing charity who provide support and resources to those who are being bullied and are on a mission to fix the behavioural issue of bullying, by changing perceptions of what ‘normal’ is. The new adverts from River Island really help support that mission, by exposing the public to what happy children look like – regardless of their abilities or appearance. Bravo!
Sarah Jessica Parker on Gender Neutral Clothing
The beloved SJP, patron saint of fashion and iconic TV star has collaborated with GAP on a range of children’s clothes. At first glance, ‘gender neutral’ doesn’t really spring to mind as a lot of the collection is very feminine and flowery. However, a closer look, reveals some great unisex items of clothing which don’t appear to be labelled as either for boys or girls! Hurrah!
GAP hit the news last year after a five year old wrote a letter to them, asking for even more gender neutral options and their CEO publicly promised the child a label free policy. This was apparently very much in Sarah Jessica Parkers mind when she teamed up with GAP for her new range, stating;
“Any child should go to any department based off whatever they’re feeling, frankly. I wanted very much for this collection to not just be of quality items that could withstand active children’s lives, but also that they don’t have a gender-specific identity to them. I think that’s really helpful for families and I think it’s really helpful for children to have choices that they don’t feel are restricted to conventional ideas.”
We couldn’t agree more – function, not gender is always at the forefront of our minds when we are designing for our own gender-neutral kids clothing line.
The limited-edition range launches March 1 and is inspired by traditions and nostalgia – it feels very Easter-y to us!
The Gender Neutral Movement in Footwear News
We haven’t spoken about children’s shoes on our blog an awful lot, mainly because we are too focussed on gender neutral clothing, we sometimes forget about the footwear!
We do realise though, that stereotyping in the shoe industry is just as strong as it is amongst clothing manufacturers – except for a few stand out brands. One of those is Irregular Choice, who you may already be familiar with if you are a fan of fun, sometimes downright crazy looking shoes! You might not know, however, that they launched a children’s shoe line last year.
A comment from their International Brand and Marketing Director, Sally Glover really caught our eye this month. Speaking to Footwear News, she said;
“Our shoes are designed to appeal to all kids. When we build the line, we don’t think about it from a gender perspective. Kids love all colours and anything that is fun. Why restrict our palettes and styles to what society deems appropriate for a male or female child?”
And she’s not the only one in the footwear game who strongly believes change is upon us. Survey results show that younger parents, especially those who would fit into the bracket classed as ‘millennials’, just don’t see a need for two sections when it comes to children’s clothing.
“Generationally, there has certainly been a shift,” said Ryan Ringholz, founder of Plae, “Modern parents realize how important it is to empower their kids to express themselves freely, rather than forcing them to fit artificial stereotypes.”
You can read the entire article on the shift in children’s shoe designs here. It’s a long read but raises some interesting points, as well as highlighting some of the brilliant work being done by forward thinking businesses.
Get in Touch with Kidult and Co
We hope you enjoyed our little round up of this month’s positive news stories, it’s great to see that gender neutral clothing, diversity, dropping labels and freedom of self-expression for children are all topics high on the news agenda!
We can’t wait to see what March brings (besides some warmer weather), and we will of course have details for you soon on our own new Spring launches.