"The Let Clothes Be Clothes campaign, has shown we can get things changed and is hugely inspiring"
Caroline Lucas, MP
"I think that Let Toys Be Toys and now Let Clothes Be Clothes are going a fantastic job... it's not just about unconscious lazy stereotypes, but outdated attitudes about what boys and girls can do."
Jo Swinson, MP
"It's got to go - labelling clothes/toys "boys" or "girls." Let parent and child decide, not the gender stereotype."
Belinda Phipps, Chair of the Fawcett Society
Boy v Girl Minion T-Shirts
Gap advert "Little Scholar" v "Social Butterfly" - 2016
Inspired by allies Let Toys Be Toys, Let Clothes Be Clothes formed in 2014; a small group of parents and family members, who were concerned about gender stereotyping in the design and marketing of childrenswear across the UK high street.
Over the past two decades, childrenswear has deeply polarised into very specific ideas about what girls and boys choices should be. Many of these ideas can seem innate, natural instincts based on the sex you were born - but science doesn't back this up. Shouldn't we give all children the opportunity to explore, discover and make their own choices?
Colour, cut, motifs and slogans used in childrenswear products across the UK high street, split the market into not just for girls and for boys, but the notion of what is socially acceptable for children to wear and like, based on the sex they were born. Step outside this idea, and children run the risk being ostracised and bullied - by both adults and peers.
These ubiquitous messages about girls and boys (not just in clothes, but in nearly every product aimed at children) can impact self-esteem, education, behaviour and career aspirations. Choice is limited to a dualistic gender code based on outdated ideas about the roles of men and women in society.
Lazy gender stereotypes have no place in products and marketing aimed at children, and since girls and boys are roughly the same size and shape until puberty, why separate childrenswear at all?
Let Clothes Be Clothes aims to:
Challenge irresponsible retailers
Call out gender stereotyping
Support unisex retailers
Promote classroom equality
Led by founder Francesca Mallen, the campaign's goal is towards a responsible retailing environment that is positive towards children, not limiting and regressive.
Example of "Boys" slogans across UK High Street - 2017