- Reuters/Brendan McDermid
- Topshop has ditched gender-specific changing rooms in a move to make transgender shoppers feel more welcome in their stores. Although the change in policy was brought about in October, it was made public after a transgender shopper was denied access to the women’s changing rooms last week. In an email, Topshop told one shopper “our fitting rooms are now available for all customers to use.”
Changing rooms in Topshop stores across the country will no longer feature separate cubicles for men and women in a move that reflects the increasingly non-gender-specific fashion industry.
The high street fashion retailer’s change in policy was made public after a transgender customer took to Twitter to voice their outrage at being denied entrance to the women’s changing rooms.
Travis Alabanza, who identifies as feminine, wanted to try on a dress in a Topshop store in Manchester but was denied access to the changing rooms by staff, according to BuzzFeed.
The staff member asked Alabanza, who was wearing a dress and makeup at the time, to take the dress they wanted to try on downstairs to the changing rooms on the Topman floor of the store.
Alabanza told Buzzfeed: “She wasn’t rude, but she wasn’t sympathetic either.”
After Albanza took to Twitter to voice their upset, one of their followers posted a screenshot from an email exchange with Topshop in October on the subject of gender-neutral fitting rooms.
Here's the email they sent me – I hope it helps! Email them too, it was a barrage of emails that got the policy updated (supposedly!) pic.twitter.com/HDP7ww6Udq
— Ferntree (@Fern_tree) November 5, 2017
The email, which confirmed the fashion chain’s updated policy, read: “As part of our commitment to equal opportunities and non-discrimination, we felt our policy needed updating.
“Though typically located in specific product areas such as Topshop or Topman, our fitting rooms are now available for all customers to use. This has been communicated across the chain.”
The policy change was also confirmed to MailOnline.
A Topshop spokesperson reportedly told the site: “All TOPSHOP TOPMAN customers are free to use any of the fitting rooms located within our stores.”