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Stores for Gender-Neutral Kids Clothes Don't See Growth Spurt

Image: Stores for Gender-Neutral Kids Clothes Don't See Growth Spurt

Martine Zoer with her sons wearing gender-neutral clothing she creates. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

By    |   Tuesday, 26 Jul 2016 09:07 AM

Stores for gender-neutral kid's clothes haven't realized expected demand, leaving some parents to start their own companies to fill the need.

Retailers like Lands' End and Zara are offering more gender-neutral clothing, reported The Associated Press, but other retailers like J.C. Penney and Nordstrom are taking a wait-and-see approach, saying they haven't received much demand for gender-neutral children clothing.

Courtney Hartman, founder of children gender neutral brands Free to Be Kids and Jessy & Jacks, told CNN last year that current children clothing rarely match the personality of children.

"All of the clothes that you see, they would make you think that boys are nothing more than sporty little aggressive troublemakers, and I've never seen my son reflected in those clothing options," Hartman told CNN. "They're not supposed to be kind. They're not supposed to be loving and sweet. They're supposed to be athletic ... and aggressive."

Hartman's companies now offer unisex T-shirts for kids that have robots and dinosaurs, noted the AP. Her Free to Be Kids brand offers slogans like "I'm a Cat Guy" in blue, gray and yellow.

"There is really a sharp divide between what is considered girls' stuff and what's considered boys' stuff," Hartman said, who added her annual sales are now pushing six-digit figures.

Jo Hadley started the company Handsome in Pink, which offers pink T-shirts with dirt bikes and electric guitars that were inspired by her pre-teen soon, said CNN.

"When he did wear more of the pink and purple sparkly side, which was just part of what he loved to wear, he just kept getting the same feedback, which was, 'Oh, you're a girl,'" Hadley told CNN. "He was referred to as 'she' and 'her' and it just created a lot of confusion in his little head."

Bloomberg said the clothing label Princess Awesome raised more than $200,000 in a Kickstarter campaign for its pirate-themed dresses and girl's apparel covered in the symbol for pi.

"Several of the startups share a common origin: They were borne out of parental frustration with major retailers," said Bloomberg writer Kim Bhasin. "Simply shopping in the opposite gender's section isn't the answer, these parents say. Cultural norms mean that as kids get older, designating certain items as male or female can confuse and frustrate them. A girl may not want to wear something designated for boys, and vice-versa."

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Stores for gender-neutral kid's clothes haven't realized expected demand, leaving some parents to start their own companies to fill the need.
stores, gender-neutral, kids, clothes
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2016-07-26
Tuesday, 26 Jul 2016 09:07 AM
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