Ducky Zebra: Challenging Gender Stereotypes In Kid’s Fashion

Meet Sally Dear (a marketeer-turned-entrepreneur) who left her 15-year career, – to set up Ducky Zebra (which challenges gender stereotypes in kid’s clothing).

Ducky Zebra (a small, Oxford-based start-up) has a big plan: to challenge out-dated gender stereotypes often found in high street kid’s fashion. Through their colourful, sustainable clothing, the brand aims to inspire kindness and confidence amongst children aged 0–6 years, – regardless of their gender.

Ducky Zebra pre-launched on social media in April 2021, followed by a full launch in October 2021. Sally set the company up, – after feeling frustrated by stereotypes that she couldn’t seem to escape when trying to buy clothing for her kids.

And after doing some more research, Sally discovered she wasn’t alone: over 80% of parents and carers she spoke to were happy to buy unisex clothing to avoid gender stereotypes. However, only 6% of parents said that their kids wanted to wear unisex clothing, because of the poor choice and dull items on offer.

“When I was buying clothing for my children, all I could find was pinks, pastel colours, and cute pretty images for girls, not to mention the sludgy blues, greys and aggressive, and teeth-baring predators for boys, said Sally.

In response to this frustration, Ducky Zebra’s unisex clothes are fun and colourful, with child-approved designs, and they feature characters which work together, play together, and are kind towards one another. Each item includes an embroidered splash motif (often hidden inside a pocket) as a reminder to be kind and confident, even at times when this might be (or seem) hard.

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Kids can quickly grow out of their clothes, so Ducky Zebra’s items are designed to last. The company uses high quality Organic Cotton fabric with generous sizing, and the products include turn-up cuffs, – to accommodate growth. Their timeless designs mean(s) that the clothing can be passed onto siblings and friends, – regardless of gender or season.

Since setting up the business, Sally has faced and overcome a number of challenges, including learning about a completely new industry, identifying the most sustainable fabric and manufacturing processes, home-schooling during various lock-downs, designing unisex clothes that kids themselves want to wear, factory lockdowns, COVID-19-friendly (kid) photoshoots, and shipping delays.

“I’ve also experienced kindness and support, which has fuelled me to keep going, and I’m so proud to have launched a brand that I truly love and believe in,” said Sally.

Since launching, the start-up has already been featured in The Telegraph. Also, they’ve received the Let Clothes Be Clothes Approved Badge, formed a partnership with Not only pink and blue, and they’ve arranged a 3-month pop-up shop in Oxford.

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