Charlotte Rose Watts

Charlotte Rose Watts

COURSE: Fashion Business & Promotion 2017


TITLE: Shift


Explore your shift
'The message is clear from consumer attitudes - don't marginalise, don't discriminate and don't exclude minorities '
Shift is an online styling agency supporting the transgender community within ‘Generation Viz’ and assisting them through exploring their own personal style.

With up to 500,000 people recognised as transgender in the UK alone , the knowledge and acceptance rates are ever-growing. However, there are still many issues faced by the trans community daily. With 62% having experienced transphobic abuse from strangers in public places , it comes at no surprise that shopping in a store with other members of the public can become an issue for trans people. Shift aims to eliminate one of these issues, by offering an alternative to in-store shopping.

Shift is a subscription based online styling agency focused on supporting the ‘generation viz’ transgender community transitioning from male to female. The decision was made to focus on the male to female transitioning sector of the community as there is a much higher number in the UK than female to male transitions. The reason for this is unknown, with Jake McGee Wellbeing Support worker at Birmingham LGBT charity noting that he sees more male to female transitions but is unclear as to why this is the case.

The key aim of the business is to assist clients in exploring their own personal style, and to offer an alternative experience to bricks and mortar retail. The business idea was formed from interviews conducted with members of the transgender community, in which issues surrounding physical retail experiences recurred. For example, many trans people feel uncomfortable shopping in retail stores, and don’t feel that the high-street is ‘trans sensitive’ or ‘trans aware’, resulting in a negative impression of shopping and of the fashion sector in general.

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