River Island have revealed that in December they will be launching their first ever gender neutral range of children’s clothing.
Following in the footsteps of high-street giant John Lewis, who scrapped gender-specific labels on their children’s clothing earlier this year, River Island will be debuting a ‘highly practical’ range of unisex clothing for kids at the end of the year.
The 12-piece collection is aimed at 5-12 year olds and has been designed to encourage kids ‘to make their own style, gender aside.’
Talking about River Island’s decision to bring out the new range, Josie Cartridge, customer director at River Island, said: ‘Gender neutral has been on our radar for a while now, it’s become a hot topic due to the political environment and what’s going on frneom a trend perspective – the two are intrinsically linked.’
While many have praised the clothing retailer for their ‘really cute’ new range for kids, others have reacted to the news negatively. One critic of the idea wrote online: “Why is it “offensive” all of a sudden to label boys and girls clothes and toys according to gender?!’ while another added: ‘Never heard of such rubbish.’
‘Why does gender neutral always have to mean shapeless and grey though?’ wrote someone else on Facebook after seeing the new range.
Going into detail about River Island’s new kids range Josie added: ‘We want River Island to be a place where you can shop to express your own style identity and to cater to a lot of different types of people and see unisex products as a means of helping us do that.’
‘Kidswear is a relevant place to think about unisex clothing because that is where body shape is less different – it is capturing a zeitgeist moment but it’s also highly practical.’
What do you think? Is gender neutral clothing necessary for kids? Would you shop the collection for your own children? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.