Take a quick sweep of the supermarket toiletries aisle and you can't fail to notice that products aimed at girls are overwhelmingly pink or purple and those aimed at boys err on the side of dark blue or green.
Aside from making life pretty boring, gender specific marketing and branding can actually reinforce some damaging stereotypes, and when that marketing is aimed at kids, it's an even bigger problem.
We have never been fans of stereotyping kids, by gender or anything else, we firmly believe in expanding their choices, not limiting them. When we created our range of toiletries for kids we knew that we wanted each of our products to be for ALL kids, regardless of gender. So, when people ask we politely tell them "No! We don't make a girl's one or a boy's one, we just make a kid's one!"
Equality is important to all of us, right? If we feel that creating an equal society is important, then how we market to kids is worth taking care over. We don't want to be sending messages to your children that they have to like certain colours or toys. That’s why it’s important that our kids products are gender neutral, with everything from deodorant to face wash being suitable for everyone.
Campaign groups such as Let Toys Be Toys have been calling out retailers and brands on their gendered marketing practices for years now, and there have been some really positive changes such as removing the "girls toys" and "boys toys" signs in shops and on websites. But gender stereotypes are still affecting our kid's lives and the choices they feel are open to them, so it’s still really important to keep listening and checking ourselves.
We spoke to Let Toys Be Toys about this recently, here's what they had to say:
"At Let Toys Be Toys we’re pleased to see that Scrubbingtons recognises the importance of marketing without stereotypes. Boys and girls are more alike than different, but when children’s products are narrowly divided into ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ or signposted along the pink/blue divide we risk limiting the possibilities and interests of our children. Children are exposed to stereotypes in so many areas of their lives, it’s good to see that getting clean doesn’t have to be one of those!"
We all want our kids to grow up to be independent thinkers, so we need to empower them to make their own decisions on what they like or don’t like. We shouldn't be trying to influence them, or tell them what they should prefer with packaging, signs and scents. We are all better than that.
It might only be soap but we know that the little things do matter.