A great starting point

Feedback

Tell retailers what you're not happy about. You can do this in-store, online via email or social media.

Retailers vary vastly on what they are either prepared to comment or take action on. Some are responsive, so it's always worth trying - after all, they want your business. The more people who complain, the more likely we will see retailers start to change.

Money talks

Loyal customer? Take your money elsewhere - and make sure retailers know this. 

Shop brands who are not only offering choice, but taking a stand against gender stereotypes. Check our our list of Approved retailers here.

Shop wisely or get crafty - but use your money to support change.

Big picture

Talk to children about gender stereotypes and why clothes are split into boys/girls.  I tell my kids they can choose between sections and should ignore the signage, but it's not always easy. There is no quick fix, and ultimately, kids just want to fit in. 

Great advice for parents and teachers can be found here via the NUT (National Union of Teachers) website

Get social

Facebook and Twitter are a great way of raising awareness about why gender stereotyping kids is a problem. Retailer use social media to improve their brand image, so let them know that image is at risk because of sexist practices.

 

Join us on Facebook or Twitter, and use the hashtag #letclothesbeclothes

Give retailers feedback

Customer loyalty is really important to our high street retailers, so if you're unhappy with a particular product or range, shop signage or layout - let them know.

Our top tips on feedback to retailers

  • Go straight to the top. Large high street retailers give their stores specific instructions on how to display ​their merchandise, and brands like NEXT have their own in-store designers - your local store will most likely have no say on what is sold, and how. 

  • Don't be afraid to call. Emails are a great way of giving feedback, and you have a written account of who said what, and when. Unfortunately you are very likely to receive a standard, cut and pasted reply. If you can stand the menu-options and possible queue, try calling instead and ask to speak to someone in charge of children's wear. 

  • How to find the right contact information. Most retailers have online contact forms, a myriad of phone numbers and email/post addresses available on their websites. It can be pretty mind boggling even before you get to the multi-choice options. If you're feeling bamboozled try one of these handy sites.

    • Resolver - ​a free consumer champion website recommended by Martin Lewis of Money Saving Expert fame.

    • CEO Finder - if you want to go straight to the top there are ways of finding the email address or phone number online, but be cautious of out of date information.

  • Get social. Retail marketing has taken to social media in a big way, and its seen as a great way of reaching out to customers and building positive brand image. You may not always get a reply from posting or tweeting, but its often a great call to arms for others who feel as strongly as you. We have seen products pulled and apologies issued after a good social media storm - and remember to tag us in too @letclothesbe or hashtag #letclothesbeclothes

  • Make a formal written complaint. Writing to a big retailer can seem a bit daunting, and I'm not going to lie to you - most of the replies we receive are standardised cut and pasted waffle like "we'll pass on your feedback." That doesn't mean you should give up, but be sure to make it clear that your future custom is effected and you are likely to go elsewhere if you are not taken seriously.

Download our letter template here 

Writing tips

Start with one of the most important factors for the business you have contacted. This issue has affected your opinion of them as a brand and you are less likely to spend your money with them. 

Include details about your complaint, like the specific garment or display, the store you use and the impact this item/experience had on you.

Offer a chance to make things right. How could this business do things differently? State the sorts of values that matter to you, and why you believe responsible retailing is  important. Be reasonable with your request, maybe small steps that could lead to a bigger change in the future.

This is a bit of an obvious one, but needs to be included - be super polite. Sure, say you're angry and upset, get some feeling in there, but never be offensive or sweary.

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