More and more Japanese schools are ordering gender-neutral swimsuits


The swimwear industry is also in turmoil after some schools in Japan introduced gender-neutral uniforms for their students.

In June, Tokyo-based company Footmark presented a neutral set consisting of a long-sleeved top and shorts. These pieces are intentionally widened to flatter the body shape and thus not highlight gender specific body shapes.

Schools want a neutral alternative

Another advantage of this swimming set is good protection against sunburn, because a large part of the skin is protected from harmful UV rays by special clothing. In addition, the combination of the two pieces can be chosen freely, for example, you can choose between different trouser lengths.

To optimize wearing comfort, materials have been selected which do not stick to the skin even when wet and which have ventilation holes. A set costs between 6,380 and 6,820 yen.

Zippers are well covered and padding can be added if needed. Image: Footmark, Co. Ltd.

Founded in 1946, the company’s model is the first of its kind in Japan and thus revealed a gap in the market. The company responds to the persistent demand for suitable swimwear for students who, for example, do not want to choose between a bathing suit or a swimming brief because of their gender identity, as designer Rico explains Sano.

interest in social media

Gender-neutral swimsuits have generated a lot of interest social mediaSo, initially, there were only 10 schools that wanted to introduce this item of clothing at the start of the next school year in addition to the existing suits and pants. After the set went public on Twitter & Co, that number jumped to 100.

The purpose of the vent holes is to ensure that the swimsuit fits comfortably. Image: Footmark, Co. Ltd.

Sano also talked about the parents who told the company bad memories of tight swimsuits from their school days and hope their kids will be better off with the innovation. The designer also hopes the product will evoke memories of swimming lessons.

increasingly popular neutral clothing

In general, there is a growing demand for genderless swimwear in Japanese online stores, as reported by Japanese internet company Rakuten. The search term “gender-neutral children’s clothing” is becoming more and more popular and is one of the forecast trends for the summer.

For example, sales of children’s rashguards in Rakuten’s online store increased by 60% between May and July alone. Loose-fitting, gender-neutral swimwear is very popular, and when a school gives students a choice, it’s often the product of choice, a spokesperson for Rakuten Group Inc. said.


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