You may have heard about size-inclusive fashion, but have you heard about gender-inclusive fashion? It's okay if you haven't yet! Gender inclusion is often overlooked even in conversations surrounding inclusivity in fashion. While unisex clothing and androgynous clothing exist, the fashion industry still has a lot of catching up to do.
Gender is one of the five sectors of inclusivity in fashion and it refers to the inclusion and representation of all genders along the gender spectrum.
While the definition of gender inclusivity is quite simple, it may be hard to visualize what this entails, especially when much of the fashion industry (along with other aspects of popular culture) is dominated by a binary concept of gender.
In case this is your first time hearing about a binary concept of gender, the gender binary is the concept or belief that there are only two genders, with one being masculine and the other being feminine.
Instead of this binary concept, gender is actually better portrayed as a spectrum. The gender spectrum is the concept that gender exists on a continuum rather than a simple man/woman binary model. This includes gender identity, gender expression, sex assigned at birth, and sexual orientation (our physical and/or emotional attraction).
If this is your first time hearing a lot of these terms, that's okay! We will be posting more on gender inclusion and are happy to have you join the conversation.
It's important that we have a strong foundation of what gender inclusivity entails before we dive into what the execution of it can look like in fashion. There are plenty of different ways that clothing brands can implement gender inclusivity. Some examples of what gender inclusion means include:
- casting and hiring models of varying gender expressions
- designing clothing, especially undergarments, that are meant for gender non-conforming individuals
- including people of varying gender expressions in every part of the industry
It's important that there are conversations about gender inclusivity. These conversations lead to the creation of safer environments, safer clothing, and an overall safer community. The current lack of conversation only perpetuates the feeling of topics being taboo which ultimately keeps people under a blanket of ignorance. It's better to participate in conversations on topics that are new to you than to pretend that you know! We are always learning and it is okay to be wrong as long as you are open to hearing about why you are wrong and learning how you can do better.
This is true about any topic deemed taboo! Taboo leads to ignorance. Ignorance leads to danger.