Brighton based start-up Gender Free World (GFW) are on a mission to dispel the outdated tradition of gender identity by providing clothing without labels for individuals regardless of their sex.
GFW will be revealing their new brand of clothing without labels in March with an event designed to promote fashion which portrays who individuals are through what they wear. The new range of shirts has been heralded by its designers as a necessary addition for all people and all body types who are keen to wear non-gender specific clothing which is stylish, fits their form and ensures that their fashion choices are free from prejudice.
Lisa Honan, Co-founder and Director of Gender Free World, said: “We are designing shirts for those overlooked by the high street. For women who like a particular more masculine or boyish style, it is not as simple as shopping in the men’s section. Men typically have wider shoulders and narrower hips so shirts designed for men may not fit many female bodies with the arms being too long and not enough room at the hips. We know there is a huge demand from the survey we did which showed that of the 173 people we talked to, over 80 per cent felt that they would welcome stylish, fitted shirts which suited them regardless of sex or gender. An overwhelming amount of the feedback we received showed that whether they were slim, short, tall, busty or petite, regardless of sex the people we surveyed struggled to find clothes that fitted their personal choice.”
The shirts GFW are launching are about celebrating femininity and masculinity regardless of someone’s sex but they also want to ensure they are inclusive to all including those who don’t identify with male or female genders. The survey highlighted issues such as shirts from high street shops for the female form are often too feminine and also that a lot of those surveyed had issues with shirts fitting poorly and gaping around the breasts. To counter this, GFW have created a ‘Hidden Reverse Button’ which has been designed to ensure that shirts are fitted better around breasts without gaping. All shirts are manufactured in the UK.
Lisa added: “We want to communicate with all of our potential customers and ensure that GFW Clothing grows and adapts to ensure that we cater to everybody’s personal choices We want our customers and the people who aren’t catered to by the high street brands to work with us to adapt how we talk about our clothing preferences and what styles of fashion are missing. Ideally we hope to work together to create a world where everyone is free to express their own style and taste regardless of what is considered traditional men’s or women’s clothes.”
Based on the feedback from the survey and to ensure that their products cater to the needs of the large group of people who are tired of having their fashion choices dictated by assumptions, GFW have created their own Gender Neutral values:
- To be seen as an individual regardless of physical or sexual characteristics.
- To be free of the dominant societal norms which restrict choice such as assuming that a woman likes pink things!
- To be free to love who you like regardless of their biology or gender.
- Celebrating masculinity and femininity across its spectrum in the spirit of free expression.
Discussing their plans after launching, Lisa continued, “Our first three ranges: Alex, Billie and Charlie are designed with female body shapes in mind but with a gender neutral appreciation, ideal for those who like a boyish or tomboy style – the Charlie range will fit some men depending on their body shape. Going forward we intend to launch a range which will fit further variations in the male frame in mid-2016 called Drew, before branching into our gender neutral kids clothes and manual workwear for body shapes other than the ‘one size fits all ‘standard large male currently on offer in DIY retailers . We will also sell gender neutral toys and other goods as appropriate.”
The world is slowly waking up to the fact that not everybody feels comfortable being identified with society’s social constructs surrounding gender so GFW are set to meet this demand for the large group of people who are offered a very limited range of clothing by major high street clothing brands. A lot of noise has been made recently about the ‘dangerous’ and ‘absurd’ questionnaire planned by Children’s Commissioner, Anne Longfield OBE, which sought to give children more choice over how they identify themselves with regards to gender. GFW are passionate about a world where people’s choices are not restricted by their gender, increasing personal choices and changing social conventions but they don’t believe that the discussion is as confusing as some people would have you think.
Lisa explained: “I find it so bizarre that a lot of people are so outraged at the idea of personal choice in how they identify themselves. We are aware that the term ‘gender’ can be interpreted in different ways and can be controversial.
“A lot of this has to do with the fact that the media can sometimes make it sound more confusing than it is. At Gender Free World we’re not trying to tell people what they should call themselves or which box they should tick, we’re just trying to ensure that stylish, fashionable clothes are available to buy for everyone regardless of their gender or body type. We’re keeping it simple. We are not saying we want a world without gender only that it is unfair that gender can limit and restrict your choices which is why we’ve created our gender neutral fashion range.”
GFW are revealing their first three new ranges of shirts on Wednesday 16th of March 2016 and in order to make sizing simple for all body types they have created an easy to use sizing chart customers can use and will send out a bespoke tape measure with every order. To help customers who may not be too comfortable with gender-specific sizes in various regions around the world the tape measure and sizing guide will ensure that everyone who buys from GFW will find stylish shirts in the colours they want and fitted to whatever body shape they desire. To pre-order any of the new ranges, find more information about sizing and body shapes or for terms and conditions, visit www.genderfreeworld.com