John Lewis spark debate over decision to ditch ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ labels from children’s clothes

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  • High street favourite John Lewis have announced that they will be removing the labels ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ from clothing in stores.

    The chain has been working recently with campaign group Let Clothes Be Clothes and has changed its labels to read either ‘Boys & Girls’ or ‘Girls & Boys’, in a bid to avoid reinforcing gender stereotypes.

    But the move, which will see John Lewis become the first to introduce gender-neutral labels on own-brand clothing for children up to the age of 14, has been met with mixed reviews.

    Many customers praised the move, while other accused the department store of taking political correctness too far.

    Some disgruntled critics took to the brand’s Facebook page to share their thoughts, with one writing: ‘Your bowing to politically correct nonsense over children’s clothes labelling is ridiculous. I hope people vote with the feet and shop elsewhere.’

    However, campaigners took the opposite stance and called on other retailers to follow in John Lewis’ footsteps.

    One Twitter user wrote: ‘How refreshing to now have the option to let children wear whatever takes their fancy rather than the old, worn out stereotypical outfit,’ while another commented: ‘Thank you! @johnlewisretail #genderneutral clothing with style for kids #boysandgirls’.

    Retail expert Ewan MacDonald-Russell, of the Scottish Retail Consortium, told the Daily Mail that other retailers were likely to make similar changes going forward.

    ‘We have already seen a number of retailers make similar moves with children’s toys, and it’s likely further brands will look to move away from traditional gender-binary labelling in children’s lines in the future,’ he said.

    ‘With customers more and more focused on the values a retailer holds, as well as price and range, it’s likely to help with sales as well as brand perception.’

    What do you think? Were John Lewis right to make the children’s range gender neutral? Let us know in the comments box below.