Updated: Jul 17, 2019
Earlier this month we awarded our Let Clothes Be Clothes Approved Badge to Candidly in support of their new range of gender stereotype busting children's t-shirts. Based in India, this new range of empowering tee's not only has a strong and clear message, but comes in designs children will love! We spoke to Amita Malhotra earlier this week to talk to her about the new designs and the message behind EqualiTee.
We love your unisex, empowering designs! Tell us more...
I am the Facilitator of Candidly, an initiative to create awareness on issues of gender, sexuality and media among children and young adults. We have recently launched EqualiTee, an awesome collection of gender-cool merchandise for children. The collection currently features t-shirts in five themes – Creativity, Opportunity, Activity, Sensitivity and Equality for children from 2-8 years. We are available from our online store and also ship worldwide.
We believe that images play a deep role in shaping children's view. We are challenging the highly gendered landscape of children and opening an expansive world of creativity, imagination and expression with no access denied for being a boy or a girl.
We plan to introduce new lines of merchandise across age-groups including for adults.
Hyper-consumerism is a key reason for things getting worse today. There are so many brands and they benefit by creating new 'segments' because it helps in selling more. There is a great social cost we pay for what makes 'economic sense' to brands and advertisers.
Why do you feel addressing gender stereotypes is so important?
Gender stereotypes are at the heart of so many issues that we face as individuals and as a society. Gender pay gap, sexual harassment, domestic violence are all words that have become part of our daily lexicon. Yet we fail to see that the root cause of all these issues is our lack of will to accept gender stereotypes as a serious issue. I think gender stereotypes are like unattended wounds that we allow to rot until they become a disease.
If only we act in time, we can save the severe cost that we end up paying emotionally, politically, economically, in trying to fix the problem retrospectively.
Are things getting better, or worse?
I would say overall things have come worse. I was born in the 1980's and I distinctly remember that in my growing years, there was far less polarization on grounds of gender than there is today. I have two elder brothers; we were equally enthusiastic about pretend play as video games. The hand-me-down culture thrived and that meant we shared far more in common, in toys and clothes than kids do today. Hyper-consumerism is a key reason for things getting worse today. There are so many brands and they benefit by creating new 'segments' because it helps in selling more. There is a great social cost we pay for what makes 'economic sense' to brands and advertisers.
EqualiTee, our awesome new collection of gender-cool merchandise challenges flawed stereotypes we inherited and lets our little boys and girls be whoever they wish to be.
What changes would you like to see in the Childrenswear market?
There are many but I wish to focus on one key one which is treating children as children and not as trophies or mini-adults. Childhood is a special age to experiment, explore new ideas and in identity-formation. We need to stop treating our children as part of our 24/7 self-aggrandising 'my life is perfect' daily broadcast on our social feeds. If we truly respect them as unique beings, their presence can't be only ornamental, identically matched with what we wear. A 3 year old has no practical need for a bikini and only ends up unnecessarily sexualising the child. We need to think more critically of some of these choices.
For more information on Candidly, or to order your EqualiTee, please click here to go to the Candidly website. International shipping is available, and for stockist enquiries please email firstname.lastname@example.org