The turn of the 21st century has brought about fundamental changes to the way we perceive the world and how we make sense of our individuality. The previous generations viewed the world in binaries; good or bad, male and female, femininity and masculinity. However, millennials and Gen Z are moving away from this traditional way of thinking and breaking barriers for a more inclusive society.
Photo credits: RODNAE Productions
Image Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/fashion-man-love-people-7035479/
Image alt text: Non-conforming individual in gender-neutral clothing
A Changing World
These days, the majority of millennials and Gen Z view gender as a spectrum rather than conforming to heteronormative ideals and binaries. The onus lies on businesses and corporations to re-imagine the societal structure based on this new understanding. With younger consumers gaining more and more purchasing power, businesses need to come up with innovative ways to appeal to their needs and wants. Wunderman Thompson Intelligence conducted a survey of 1000 American consumers aged 16 to 24 years and the findings state that about 70% of people agree that gender does not define a person as much as it used to.
Clothing brands have started to consider personalization and gender-inclusive designs to cater to the wide range of human diversity. Here is a quick guide on how you can make a custom gender-neutral clothing label:
Deciding on a Label
Brand labels are used to quickly identify and gain information about a particular piece of clothing. The contents of the label usually include brand name, warning, washing instructions, and other details about the material used to manufacture the garment. There are different types of labels such as printed labels, woven labels, or heat transfer. Printed labels are versatile and can be printed to different materials using flexographic ink. This ink does not wash or fade away easily with multiple washes.
The best option in the market is woven labels using polyester thread. This gives a better look than printed labels and it’s able to withstand countless washes and still remain soft to touch. The cheapest, most cost-effective option available is “hot stamping.” The contents of the label are heated and pressed firmly against the garment – almost like dipping a stamp in ink and then transferring it onto paper.
Before you start designing your clothing line, look for gender-less inspiration. Create mood boards of different models in gender-neutral clothing and choose a style. Button-down slim-fit shirts, baggy high-waist jeans, oversized denim jackets with prints, sweatshirts, and hoodies – these are all examples of staple androgynous clothing items. See the above picture showing some ideas for creating a label that can work for both women and men’s clothing or accessories.
One of the best things about gender-neutrality is that colors are not associated with gender anymore. Men wearing pink and women wearing dark tones don’t raise eyebrows anymore like they used to. The main area of focus for gender-neutral clothing brands lies in the availability of various sizes that fit any body type.
Fashion-lovers and designers are picking up on the latest trends and making them accessible for all regardless of gender. The notion of “menswear” and “womenswear” is being challenged and leading fashion brands across the globe have started incorporating “Gender-neutral” collections into their portfolio.