We’ve had our eye on Colwyn Bay based Gecko Clothing for some time, with fun designs and a great eco-outlook, we are delighted to present Emma, and her family run business, with our award badge!
Tell us about Gecko Clothing!
I am Emma, The Gecko, Co-founder of Gecko Clothing and Mum of 3 beautiful, amazing and tiring children.
Gecko Clothing is a family run, young clothing brand forging a reputation for creating bright and fun, unique, unisex designs. I work alongside my husband and it’s very much a family business with our 3 kids taking a large interest and getting involved in all areas. We literally discuss all aspects with them from theme and colour choices right through to marketing ideas!
Outside of being a Mum and The Gecko I like to run and climb, living in North Wales this gives me the perfect back drop for both! I am happiest outdoors.
What did you do before?
Before setting up Gecko Clothing I was a freelance event and project Manager specialising in social inclusion and community projects. Although I really enjoyed my time freelance and the work and projects it became quite stressful with a young family. Being Freelance meant I had no cover if I was needed at home.
What are your biggest sellers?
Although we have been around since 2012 it was only last year that we were in a position to manufacture our own clothes from pattern to final stitch in our own print designs. It was amazing to watch them come together and see everyone’s excitement when they were released.
Our most popular item were definitely our colourful dungarees.
Why did you feel unisex was so important?
The very idea of Gecko Clothing started because my husband would rant at the men’s offering in terms of designs and colours in comparison to women’s choice and was completely uninspired by the dull, predictable offerings on the High Street. When I had my son this only compounded the frustration.
Boys were so limited in terms of colours and designs, we had to spend hours shopping for things that weren’t blue and I hate shopping! Then we saw that it got even worse when they reached 3, that somehow the colours and patterns became even more muted! That’s when Gecko was born. We very quickly saw that beyond the frustration at how these outdated stereotypes limited the options for genders, that it went deeper. We felt uncomfortable dictating to parents what their child liked based on their gender, the whole idea seemed absurd.
Gender stereotypes: harmful, or can you just ignore?
It’s definitely harmful! I genuinely believe that until we teach our children that they are all equal we will never truly have equality. Right now this is the message that society is teaching based on gender segregation and marketing alone: “Of course you can be a Palaeontologist when you grow up, you can be anything you put your mind to… You can’t have dinosaurs they’re for boys! What about this pretty doll?”
Not really dripping in equality is it?!
5 changes you’d like to see in society around children and clothes:
- Stop the boy/girl division – design to kids and let them choose based on their own beautiful personality and preferences
- Stop designing for boys and girls like they are 2 separate species and shapes – design to kids and let them choose based on their own beautiful personality and preferences
- More inclusion and diversity and beauty of all children including those with physical disabilities, sensory impairments and the massive spectrum therein
- It’s nice that kids can get ‘Sunday best’ type outfits, but I would love to see more emphasis on what a child needs from their clothes in designs – freedom of movement and comfort mainly
- Tighter scrutiny on items of sexualisation and general inappropriateness like high heels and bikinis to name but 2!
To nominate a unisex business, or apply for our Let Clothes be Clothes approved badge, please click here.