Showing Kids More Opportunities
My name is Jenn and I’m a graphic artist with a PhD in philosophy and a passion for gender equality. The first time I went shopping for my daughter I expected to find fun, bright colours for her to wear – I was disappointed to find girls’ departments that were all pink and frills, and boys’ departments filled with trucks and sports. Even though I know lots of kids who love these things, most boys are into more than just sports, and we need to tell girls that even if they like princesses, it’s cool to like other stuff - like dinosaurs - too!
Life doesn’t come with a girls’ section and a boys’ section. That’s why I’m starting Jill and Jack Kids—to make clothes that change the messages we’re sending to kids.
We know that you want the kids in your life to have as many opportunities as possible, and helping them to see that their options in life aren’t colour coded will broaden their horizons, and help them to develop their own sense of self free from outdated ideas and expectations.
These kids will run the world one day, and if kids pursue their passions, instead of feeling like they don’t belong, we‘ll be better equipped to deal with the challenges that the future will bring.
Changing the Messages We’re Sending to Kids
Jill and Jack Kids makes playtime-worthy clothes in fun, bright colours that change the messages we’re sending to kids. They’re eco-friendly, made in Canada, and perfect for handing down whether you have boys, girls or both!
Sizes 2 – 8
Fits true to size.
- Comfortable – Super soft high quality cotton that holds its shape well, with no scratchy tag and an extra stretchy neck
- Great Fit – Designed to fit true to size, sizing developed based on real scientific research
- Durable – Sturdy enough to hand down, with designs that both boys and girls can wear
- Functional – Clothes that are made to play in and allow for a full range of movement
- Great Design – Fun, bright colours, bold graphics and simple lines
All of our shirts are super soft, fit long and slim (but true to size) and will have a heat transfer instead of a neck tag for extra comfort. You’ll have to wash it while your kids are sleeping, because this is one shirt they won’t want to take off!
Our first four designs
The T.rex: Whoa! We all think of T.rexes as male because they were ferocious reptiles, but of course half of all T.rexes were girls.
The Owl: Wise and resourceful, this owl and its baby are exploring their environment. Go and explore the natural world around you, and you might just see or hear one of these noble creatures!
Curious: More important than “cute” or “handsome” the kids in our lives are curious! Designed to help kids realize that being inquisitive is valuable and important, and to inspire adults who meet them to talk with them about more than just their looks.
I <3 #startups (Limited Edition): Perfect for your little tech guru or budding entrepreneur, or to encourage moms and dads who run their own businesses! This super cute shirt is only available through our Kickstarter campaign, so get yours now!
The kids’ t-shirt + charm reward includes one of our super soft eco-friendly shirts, plus an inspirational stainless steel charm inscribed with “curious” or “resilient” that you can attach to any zipper, or thread onto a necklace.
The "Big T / little t" reward includes any one of our kids’ shirts, and an adult version of our flagship T.rex design. The adult shirt is a fitted v-neck in burgundy, with orange print. If you choose a kids' T.rex shirt, you can be matching! The adult shirt comes in sizes XS-XXL.
To collect the entire series, pledge at the $95 level to get all four shirts! You can choose one of each design, or get two the same for kids who love to match, or give one as a gift to a niece, nephew or friend.
Once we had our prototypes in hand, we gave real parents a chance to see and feel them, and real kids a chance to try them on. Here’s what some of them had to say:
Awesome Clothes for Awesome Kids
Back in October I surveyed over 180 Canadian parents to find out exactly what was missing from kids’ clothing stores. I asked them how their kids’ shirts fit, and discovered that most children’s shirts are too short, and too wide. I also learned that 60% of parents shop for their daughters in the boys’ section (sacrificing fit for less girly designs), and 11% shop for their sons in the girls’ section where they can find alternatives to blue, grey and brown.
We believe that kids can have it all: superheroes and tiaras, sports and play kitchens. The clothes that big companies market to kids tell them that there’s only one way to be a boy or a girl. But that’s not how we see it. At Jill and Jack Kids there’s no girls’ department or boys’ department - just awesome clothes for awesome kids!
Making Jill and Jack Kids a Reality
Jill and Jack Kids has come a long way. I’ve taken the concept from a desire for change, to a series of designs, to real shirts that you can touch and feel. I originally created 16 designs, and shared them with over 500 parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. Based on their feedback, I selected and refined the four designs you see here. This is just the beginning – we have big plans for bringing lots more great designs to life.
The fit of our shirts is totally unique to Jill and Jack Kids. We went back to the drawing board to get the perfect long, slim fit based on measurements of real kids. Drawing on health data from scientific studies, we developed our clothes with proportions that fit perfectly. Since I’m an academic researcher, I went straight to the source, spending two weeks poring over the data provided in government and health publications to find out exactly how big kids really are, not in 1970, but now, according to the best, most recent information available. I took these results to Shelli Oh, a local fashion designer, and worked with her to develop the perfect fit for our shirts.
You won’t find shirts that are too short and too wide, with sleeves that hang down to the elbows at Jill and Jack Kids! Nor will you find fitted girly tees with little cap sleeves. We also made sure that our shirts fit true to size - no more guessing! When it’s time to choose your size, we’ll provide detailed size charts, so it will be easy to determine which size will fit just right for any body type.
I’ve already partnered with an exceptional Canadian manufacturer that made the samples that you saw in the video and photos. The shirts are made from 100% cotton grown in the United States, and coloured with eco-friendly dyes before being cut, sewn and screen printed in Montreal. Over the past seven months I’ve spent countless hours on research and development to come this far. But the minimum order quantity is 500 shirts. All I have to do is call to the manufacturer and place the order, so this is where you come in. Show me that you want to change the messages that we’re sending to kids by supporting this campaign. Together we will meet the minimum order requirements, and get as many kids dreaming beyond pink and blue as we possibly can. We can help kids grow up in a world where gender equality is not a dream, but a reality.
Once you support Jill and Jack Kids on Kickstarter, you’ll get to track our progress as we order this first round of shirts, set up our online store, and develop new styles (like long sleeve shirts and hoodies!), put more of our designs into production, and create new ones at www.jillandjackkids.com. Plus, you’ll be the first to hear when new designs and styles are released, and you’ll get to give us input on which designs you’d like to see next.
Why Kids (and Parents) Love Them
Kids will love our shirts because they’re made from super soft cotton, they’re really comfortable (no scratchy tag!) and fit great, which makes them perfect to wear for your next adventure.
Our wash-and-wear t-shirts are perfect for everyday wear, and are designed to stand up to active play indoors and out, as well as the many washings that are sure to result! Just machine wash (we recommend cold, because it’s better for the earth, but it’s your call), then tumble or hang on the clothesline to dry.
All Jill and Jack Kids clothes are sweatshop-free, and free from harmful chemicals, so you can give them to the little ones in your life knowing that they were made with respect for the environment and everyone involved in their production.
We need more girls who know that they can solve tough, real world problems and more boys who are interested in collaboration, not just competition. To get there we need to change the messages we’re sending to kids. Giving them more and better clothing options is just the beginning.
We Did It!! Time for a stretch goal!
Thank you to everyone who pledged, shared, tweeted, posted, pinned, told their friends. We couldn't have done it without you!
And now it's time for a stretch goal! If we make it to $17,000 before the campaign ends at midnight on Thursday night, you will be able to choose from not 4 but 5 awesome designs! And the new design is...
The Fibonacci Spiral
This beautiful Fibonacci spiral (and the similar golden spiral) are made by dividing a rectangle into smaller and smaller parts, and then drawing an arc through opposite corners of each part.
This spiral can be found in nature—in the arrangement of plant leaves and the shells of some sea creatures—and photographers often use it to plan out beautiful pictures. It’s proof that math is beautiful.
A second stretch goal!!
By popular demand, if we reach $18,000 by midnight tonight, we will add an adult version of the Fibonacci spiral shirt to our collection! Adult v-neck Fibonacci spiral shirt Adult v-neck Fibonacci spiral shirt.
Anyone who chooses a single adult shirt, a Big T / little t combo, or a two kids / two adults combo will now be able to choose from our adult T. rex and our adult Fibonacci spiral shirts!
A third stretch goal!!!
If we make it to $25,000 before the campaign ends, we'll be adding this awesome octopus shirt to our collection!
If the campaign is successful, Jill and Jack Kids will begin developing further styles and designs, and launch an online store – your source for not just t-shirts but also pants, long sleeved shirts, dresses, and hoodies that go beyond traditional gendered options for kids. Our clothes will always be socially and environmentally responsible, and feature fun, bright colours that the little ones in your life will love!
Please visit us at http://www.JillandJackKids.com to find out what we're up to now, and check out our latest designs!
Music: "Air Hockey Saloon" by Chris Zabriskie is licensed under an Attribution License. Cover Photo: Sara Shirley
Risks and challenges
Because we're working with the same manufacturer that made the samples, and we have a great relationship with them, we're confident that the production process will go smoothly.
The biggest risk with this project is the possibility of an unexpected delay in the production process. We've discussed our timelines with the manufacturer, and they're confident that we'll be able to get the shirts to you on time, but it's possible that an unanticipated delay could slow us down.
We're aiming to ship these shirts out to you in mid- to late- August, so you'll have them in time for back-to-school, but if we get a lot more orders than we're expecting it may take a little longer to get them to you. Rest assured that if that happens, we will be working hard to get them to you as quickly as we can!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (19 days)