Interested lobby groups such as the Mothers’ Union and Mumsonline have been putting pressure on the UK Government for some time to take action over what they see as unsuitable clothing for children. Inappropriate fashion being a main thrust but also the marketing of children’s products using veiled and overt sexual references to get parents to buy product which is either unsuitable in style or has unsuitable advertising and logos emblazoned on it.

Retailers Initiative with UK Government Support

The UK Government through Sarah Teather: Minister of State for Children and Families, has acted and is supporting the British Retail Consortium (BRC) Guidelines published recently which attempt to end the “Sexualisation of Children” in retailing and marketing.

“Responsible BRC members have long taken steps to ensure the products they offer meet their customers’ expectations of quality, price, style and taste. As a result there is a strong body of knowledge within the BRC on managing the inevitable reputation risks thrown up in a fast moving commercial environment” said Stephen Robertson, Director General of BRC.

Mr. Robertson then goes on to say that the BRC invites all childrenswear retailers to join and sign up to deliver the best childrenswear in the world and offer a wider choice of practical, fun and appropriate clothing to suit everyone’s budget. So far UK retailers: Argos, Debenhams, George, John Lewis Partnership, Marks and Spencer, Next, Peacocks, Pumpkin Patch, Sainsbury, Tesco and TK Maxx have given support to the Guidelines.

Guidelines to cover all types of products

The Guidelines try to cover everything from footwear to outerwear with special emphasis on underwear and swimwear. The guidelines also take account of different end use requirements such as School, play, swim and party wear. Marketing of clothing for the under 12s is a particular concern whether this is in the form of still photography or the moving image and the guidelines make recommendations about what is reasonable and what is not.

For more information and support with placing your clothing products in a specific market, contact:

Karen E. Kyllo, Ph.D.
Deputy Vice President, Global Softlines
SGS U.S. Testing Company, Inc.

t: +1 973 461 7934


The SGS Group is the global leader and innovator in inspection, verification, testing and certification services. Founded in 1878, SGS is recognized as the global benchmark in quality and integrity. With more than 67,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,250 offices and laboratories around the world.