Retail Ireland, the IBEC group that represents retailers, today launched 'Responsible Retailing: Retail Ireland Childrenswear Guidelines', a set of voluntary guidelines on the sale and marketing of children's clothing to ensure the provision of practical, age-appropriate and fun clothing. The guidelines, which were launched with the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Frances Fitzgerald TD at Dundrum Town Centre, Co Dublin, cover clothing, footwear and accessories designed for children under the age of twelve years.
Retailers that have already signed up the code include: Arnotts, Brown Thomas, Clerys, Debenhams, House of Fraser, Marks & Spencer, Next, Penneys, Tesco and TK Maxx. Retail Ireland is also inviting other childrenswear retailers to sign up to the guidelines.
Speaking at the launch in Dundrum Town Centre, Retail Ireland Director Stephen Lynam said: "All responsible retailers recognise their responsibility to provide age-appropriate clothing designs and market these to parents in ways that protects childhood and safeguards the interest of children. These new guidelines provide extra reassurance for parents that retailers are just as concerned as they are about what their children wear.”
Also speaking, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Frances Fitzgerald TD said: "Enhancing Ireland's culture of child protection and preserving the special space that is childhood is a key priority of government. Earlier in the year I invited the fashion sector to develop a set of guidelines on the retailing of childrenswear in Ireland. Today's launch demonstrates how, working together, we can help foster a culture where childhood is preserved and children are protected."
Key points in the guidelines include (see attached pdf for full details):
- Slogans and imagery must be age appropriate and not sexually suggestive, demeaning or derogative
- The choice of fabrics and cut in childrenswear should provide for modesty
- Great care should be shown when it comes to the design of children's underwear, to differentiate it from adult lingerie
- Swimwear should provide for modesty, and should be age appropriate
- Footwear for everyday use should provide a stable, supporting shoe with a heel pitch (angle of foot) of generally not more than 2.5 cm or one inch.
- Colour ranges should be age-appropriate and suitable for the item of clothing
- The marketing of childrenswear should be targeted at adult purchasers, not children
- The use of child models is only appropriate within defined parameters.
Retail Ireland will regularly bring together all signatories to the guidelines to discuss implementation. Every quarter, individual retailers will report any feedback or complaints to Retail Ireland, which will provide an annual report on progress to the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs.
The guidelines are available at www.retailireland.ie or by emailing email@example.com.
Notes to editor: 'Childrenswear' means all clothing, footwear and accessories designed and marketed for children under the age of twelve years. It does not include dressing up clothes or toys and does not cover teenage fashion or baby wear.
- RETAIL IRELAND CHILDRENSWEAR GUIDELINES.pdf - 490 Kbytes