By Max Clarke
Nine of the nation’s biggest retailers have today agreed to limit the sale of clothes that ‘sexualise children’.
The new ‘good practice' guidance for the sale of children's clothing is being launched by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) today to coincide with the release of the Government-commissioned Bailey review into the commercialisation and sexualisation of children.
"These new guidelines provide extra reassurance for parents that these companies are just as concerned as they are about what their children wear,” said BRC spokesperson, jane Bevis. “Ensuring the childrenswear they sell is appropriate for youngsters of particular ages is something our retailers have been doing for a long time, but out of the public eye.”
The document spells out the principles these retailers, who include Tesco, John Lewis, ASDA Argos and M&S, follow when deciding what childrenswear to stock. Areas covered include garment styles, fabrics and marketing.
“Attitudes and styles are changing all the time and our retailers want to continue their conversations with families about what they're looking for when they shop for their children,” continued Bevis.
Carrie Longton, Co-Founder of Mumsnet, said: "After growing concern from Mumsnetters we launched our 'Let Girls be Girls' campaign to ask retailers to commit not to sell products which play upon, emphasise or exploit children's sexuality. We're delighted that so many retailers joined our campaign and that we've seen some real change on the high street. And now it's great that the industry as a whole, through the British Retail Consortium, has recognised its responsibility and drafted its own guidelines to encourage more responsibility up and down the high street."
Chris Wermann, Director of Corporate Affairs at Home Retail Group (includes Argos) said: "As the largest toy retailer in the UK and new entrants into children clothing, Argos is not new to responsible retailing for primary school children. We fully support any initiative which drives poor practices out of the system."
Music videos with overtly sexualised contend targeted at children an teens, typified by the increasingly controversial Rihanna, are also being targeted in the government backed review, though as yet no formal agreements have been made.
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