This inspirational teenager started an award-winning gender-neutral fashion line
Entrepreneur Katie McGloin explains why she started the first gender-neutral clothing brand in Ireland
My name is Katie McGloin. I am Foróige’s National Youth Entrepreneur of the Year, a recipient of a U Magazine 30 Under 30 Award and I am also the founder of K.T. Clothing Co. and an avid advocate for gender neutral clothing.
K.T. Clothing Co. is a clothing line set up to help people feel comfortable in their preferred style of clothing. The company mission with K.T. Clothing Co. is not just a line - every item of clothing is completely gender neutral. The other area we want to cover is being very affordable to our customers. There is no set gender for any of our items and they can be worn in a number of different styles depending on the individual. I genuinely believe that clothes are clothes, pieces of fabric, but we add the Women’s/Men’s/Girl’s/Boy’s labels ourselves.
I set up K.T. Clothing Co. to combat the gender roles that I as a teenage girl feel. I have never felt particularly feminine or masculine with regards to clothes. I don’t like wearing dresses or skirts, I feel much more comfortable wearing a shirt or jeans. Like most enterprises, K.T. Clothing Co. was born out of a struggle I was feeling, and if I was feeling it, there had to be more people out there feeling the same as me. So I researched, designed and built a website (ktclothingco.com) and I created the first gender neutral brand in Ireland.
I think that gender neutral clothing is a very fundamental idea, we should be comfortable in our clothes, we should feel good and if we are feeling comfortable, I feel that has a knock-on effect to our confidence. Studies show that what we wear reflects our feelings and emotions. Scientists call this phenomenon “enclothed cognition”.
Starting K.T. Clothing Co. has allowed me to achieve so many dreams, I attended Dublin Pride with Bank of Ireland who invited me to showcase my clothes. I met my hero, Minister For Children And Youth Affairs and The Galas Political Figure Of The Year, Dr. Katherine Zappone. I have been able to donate items from the line to LINC, Breakout Donegal & TENI, who all promote LGBTQ+ equality.
Dublin Pride was a standout event for me. It was my very first Pride and I was able to meet my customers face to face for the very first time and it was amazing. I laughed with people, shared stories, answered questions! The thing that really struck a chord with me was the the interest that was shown in my brand. One girl told me that it is such a simple idea that could change the way we view clothes for the better. And for me that is all the confidence I need to keep doing what I’m doing.
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