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07/15/2021

J.C. Penney debuts ‘inclusive’ kids clothing line

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
Marianne Wilson profile picture

J.C. Penney is launching a kids’ clothing line that celebrates diversity — including diversity of abilities.

The retailer’s new Thereabouts private line includes back-to-school essentials, from basics to uniforms, sleep to outerwear, and a variety of shoe styles. The assortment is size-inclusive running from 2T–22, including plus and husky. 

The clothing is available with adaptive features, including easy-access openings, sensory-friendly seaming and no tags, ensuring there’s something stylish for every kid, including those with disabilities, Penney said.

The retailer has also partnered with Patti + Ricky, an adaptive fashion marketplace for adults and kids with disabilities, to expand Penney’s children’s adaptive offerings via accessory brands PunkinFut, BeedleBug, Max & Me, and Myself Belts. 

“We believe all kids should feel confident and capable in the clothes they wear, and parents should feel good about the clothes they buy,” said Michelle Wlazlo, executive VP and chief merchandising officer, Penney, which was acquired by Simon Property Group and Brookfield Asset Management at the end last year. “Fulfilling the wants and needs of our diverse customer base is the foundation of our business. That’s why we relied on research and feedback from parents and kids throughout the design process. We are proud to say that the Thereabouts collection is our most inclusive kids brand ever.”

In addition to offering inclusive apparel for kids who make the future bright, Penney is partnering with  Communities in Schools, a national organization that ensures every student, regardless of race, ZIP code, or socioeconomic background has what they need to realize their potential in school and beyond. From July 15 to Aug. 12, the retailer will donate $1 for every Thereabouts item sold in-store or online, up to $100,000, to Communities In Schools to fund programming that empowers students to stay in school and achieve in life.