Mum slammed by other parents for call to make Kmart clothes 'genderless'

Tom Flanagan
News Reporter

A New Zealand mum’s calls to remove gender labels from Kmart children’s clothing has divided opinion, with those opposing her saying the idea is “madness”.

Wellington resident India Springle took to Facebook over the weekend to reveal a petition she had set up after becoming infuriated with the gender specific clothing at the retail chain when shopping with her two-year-old daughter Lola.

“Hey Kmart...get with the program already would you?!” she began.

She said her daughter didn’t approve that the “cool” t-shirts in the boys section included a boys label.

“Girls can only wear a dinosaur T-shirt if it’s pink and full of sequins?! Honestly it is beyond ridiculous,” Ms Pringle said.

“Get in the modern world you archaic bunch of fossils...down with gendered kids clothes and down with lame girls clothes....”

Ms Springles shared an image of her daughter laughing while wearing a grey dinosaur t-shirt from the boys section.

India Springles said her daughter Lola (left) wanted to wear boys clothing without being labelled a boy. Source: Facebook/ India Springles

Her petition has so far garnered over 100 signatures with many backing up the mother in the comments section.

“Children’s clothing should be gender neutral!” one person declared.

“I'm so annoyed that all clothes for my son have Skulls, Dino's or Skateboards on them,” another said.

“All the girls clothes are so pink. Time to release gender free clothing like in the old days. I wore brown corduroys. Don't make our kids feel like they have to be pretty or tough.”

Gender label request comes under fire

But Ms Springle’s petition has since faced the wrath of hundreds on social media, with many saying “unnecessary things” shouldn’t warrant a petition.

“The only madness here is the mother who has the time to start a petition,” one person wrote on Facebook.

“Why does it matter so much about the words written in the label? Your daughter looks delightfully happy in her dinosaur top so why make an issue out of nothing,” another said.

Dozens more suggested the simple solution to her problem was to cut the label out of the top .

“Just buy the shirt, cut the tag off they’re annoying anyway and keep on with your day,” one person said.

Kmart says the labels help shoppers. Source: AAP

A Kmart spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia the labels were to "assist customers with a convenient shopping experience based on their shopping behaviour".

“At Kmart we are constantly listening to our customers and incorporating their feedback to both future product ranges and store design,” they added.

Ms Springle responded to the criticism towards her petition on Facebook, agreeing there were “heaps of bigger things going on in the world” but reiterated she felt it was important children shouldn’t feel shame for wearing gender-specific clothing.

In September, a major city in Australia looked at the possibility of introducing gender neutral bathrooms in public areas.

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