John Lewis has introduced gender-neutral labels on their childrenswear collections and replaced gender-specific signage in stores.
The high-street retailer, which also sells unisex childrenswear collections, wants parents and children to have a wider choice in what they wear.
The labels on the clothing now read: “Girls & Boys” or “Boys & Girls”.
“At John Lewis, ensuring we meet our customer needs is our number one priority,” said
Caroline Bettis, head of childrenswear at John Lewis.
“As such, we introduced new non-gender specific John Lewis stitched labels and combined ‘Girls & Boys’ swing tags to clothing for John Lewis own label collections in 2016.
“In line with this change, our policy is to no longer specify areas or use signage which say ‘Girls’ or ‘Boys’ in our shops.”
Bettis added: “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 John Lewis website still has separate sections for girls and boys, but this is expected to be reviewed.
Reactions to the gender-neutral label and signage in the stores has been mixed. Some felt the move was positive.
— Dan Rebellato (@DanRebellato) September 2, 2017
A campaign for gender-neutral clothes, Let Clothes Be Clothes, said they were “absolutely thrilled” by the announcement and many Twitter users also expressed how pleased they were online.
No more “girls” and “boys” labels on children’s clothes at John Lewis! Hope more retailers do the same!https://t.co/Ub2pIbPtpw
— Pride in London (@LondonLGBTPride) September 3, 2017
so john lewis brought out gender neutral clothing for kids and i’m so freaking happy but i don’t get why people are freaking out about it
— Georgi Frances (@FrancesIvy03) September 4, 2017
However other people disagreed with the move – Piers Morgan being one of those. He said on ‘Good Morning Britain’ on Monday 4th September: “I have three sons and one little daughter.
“None of my sons have shown any interest in wearing dresses, and my daughter wears 20 dresses a day. Why can’t we let boys be boys and girls be girls?”
‘Can we call it John Lewis anymore or does it have to be Joan Lewis’ – @piersmorgan
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) September 4, 2017
Others felt ditching the labels was “worrying”.
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
John Lewis introduce gender neutral labels for our children so we can fck their little minds up before they reach adulthood. https://t.co/BaDCGVF01t
— Sheena Parks (@SheenaParks20) September 2, 2017
What do you think?