Gender neutral fashion increases due to a surge in LGBTQ+ awareness

Fashion outlets in Manchester are increasingly selling gender neutral clothing so their products are accessible to everyone.

Since the 1960s unisex fashion has increased in many UK clothing retail stores.

But there are still many stores where clothes are segregated and labelled as ‘male’ and ‘female.’

Retailers John Lewis and H&M have joined forces and removed gender labels from their clothes to make their lines gender neutral.

Zara stores have also released a unisex line named ‘ungendered’.

Their collection includes basic staples, such as hoodies and T-shirts, which are all in plain shades of beige, grey and navy.

High end brand PANGAIA, sold in Selfridges, is a clothing line which sells casual wear such as hoodies and Jogging bottoms.

PANGAIA design their clothes so people can choose when and how to wear them.

PANGAIA said in an interview with Refinery 29: “The sweats are to be used as decided by the wearer, regardless of their gender.”

It is clear most fashion outlets are realising the importance of not labelling clothing items with gender specific labels.

EDITED reported that last year the fashion industry had a gender awakening and confirmed genderless product sales increased by 56%.

Professor of fashion cultures Fiona Hackney, who works for the Manchester Fashion Institute, told Mancunian Matters her thoughts on fashion and gender-neutral clothing.

She said that: “Clothing is a part of who we are not just as individuals but as a community.

“Gender neutral clothing opens up a space for us to think about who we are and how we live.”

She also agreed that more awareness needs to be raised about gender neutral clothing, and that it is important to have gender neutral clothing.

She added: “There has been a real revolution in academia about the politics of fashion.

“Politics of fashion is about sustainability, identity, race and sexuality”

Hackney also said: “Fashion and how we dress is an important political act.”

Hackney also agreed that just because clothes are gender neutral, it doesn’t mean they should all be in neutral colours.

Megan Garside, 22, who studies fashion journalism, also gave her opinions on gender neutral clothing.

She said: “Fashion is a great way to express yourself when you’re actually too scared to express yourself in other ways.

 “I think we should be able to wear anything we want; I don’t think there should be any rules.

“Men should be able to wear women’s clothes; women should be able to wear men’s clothes.

“I feel gender neutral clothing is important for people who identify as non-binary.

“It’s really important that they don’t feel like they have to choose to shop in a male or female section.”

Garside also mentioned that when brands design garments, they should be accessible to more than one gender and available in many sizes.

Manchester stores have successfully adapted their clothing range, as gender neutral designs are already being created for 2022.  

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