18-year-old Katie McGloin is a truly special teenager. Despite her youth, the Bundoran entrepreneur recognises the responsibility of business owners to be aware of social issues surrounding us.
Being passionate about the gender spectrum, LGBTQ+ and feminist problems in our world has only contributed to Katie's drive as a young women running a business.
She is the founder of Ireland's first gender neutral clothing brand, K.T. Clothing Co., which is currently taking the country by storm.
The idea of NORMAL is unnecessary
NORMAL is conforming to a standard
NORMAL is always changing
Don't put pressure on yourself to be someone else's idea of NORMAL
@kt_clothing_co educating the masses!@MariaWalshEU @NFitzPsychology @shonadotie pic.twitter.com/HLFTfLVshw
— (@zeminarevent) June 7, 2019
K.T. Clothing Co. is a clothing line set up specifically to allow people to feel comfortable in their preferred style of clothing, no matter what their gender identity is.
The company mission has always been "achieve goals without gender roles", and Katie has stayed true to her word: Every single item of clothing is totally gender neutral.
K.T. Clothing Co. remains affordable to their customers, hoping to allow everyone into their way of styling clothes.
Inclusivity is always the intention, the company aims to welcome everyone with open arms. Fashion can be extremely limiting for many people, especially in terms of both body diversity, class and cost, and gender identity.
Katie is extremely passionate about human rights, which led her to set up her gender neutral clothing brands. She strongly maintains an advocacy for those who are unable to feel comfortable in 'gendered' outfits.
The teen consistently promotes the reduced need for gender roles in modern society, quickly gaining skills as a public speaker and activist on issues such as LGBTQ+ equality, gender identity and feminism.
As well as her work as an activist, she regularly donates clothes to LGBTQ+ charities such as TENI and LINC Cork, and is an ambassador for Shona.ie, an initiative that supports women from all over the world.
Allowing everyone into the world of fashion is part of Katie's mission, and the business has totally taken off as a result. Clearly, a huge amount of people relate to her, and support her cause.
Dr Katherine Zappone, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, has recognised the work carried out by Katie McGloinn and her dedication to her community from a young age.
Since beginning her business in Transition Year of School back in 2016, she has been awarded and celebrated for K.T. Clothing Co. on numerous occasions.
Katie was awarded as Foroige’s National Youth Entrepreneur of the Year 2017, and won The Irish Women’s Award for Young Entrepreneur this year.
As well as these incredible achievements, Katie has been honoured as JCI Ireland National Top Outstanding Young Person – Contribution to Human Rights and/or World Peace 2019.
Katie knew that if she felt uncomfortable in clothes which were created as either masculine or feminine, there must be others out there who feel the exact same way.
As of 2017, she is an ambassador for The Shona Project, empowering woman globally and won the Irish SME Award for Young Entrepreneur of the Year last year.
As part of the initiative, herself and the charity's founder, Tammy Darcy, were invited to meet their royal highnesses the Duke & Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry & Meghan Markle on their visit to Ireland during the summer.
The youngster is paving the way for gender diversity in fashion, and we couldn't be more proud that she's representing Ireland. She's just finishing her Leaving Cert exams, so the world is her oyster.
Feature image: Instagram/@ktclothingco