Now Reading
This retail space aims to be inclusive of gender-nonconforming customers

This retail space aims to be inclusive of gender-nonconforming customers

The Phluid Project is a gender neutral retailer and community space

The Phluid Project is a retailer for every gender.

Their brick-and-mortar store opened in New York City earlier this year and the company has been covered by the likes of Teen Vogue and Women’s Wear Daily.

In addition to being a shopping space free of gendered expectations, The Phluid Project is also a community center and online social justice platform. Their website promotes articles about issues such as gun violence and the Pentagon’s proposed trans military ban.

Background

‘I felt like I needed a more purposeful reason for living than just grinding away for corporate America,’ Phluid owner Rob Smith told Vice. For over 25 years, Smith worked for brands such as Macy’s, Levi’s, and Victoria’s Secret.

‘[Phluid] allows a space for young people to be free and have a voice in a real tangible space. As a young person I would have really wanted this space for myself.’

Among Phluid’s offerings are graphic t-shirts with slogans such as ‘Gender is Over’ and ‘Be Yourself.’ They also sell organic beauty products, art books, fun accessories, and more.

‘“Phluid” represents fluidity, because everything in life is fluid,’ Smith said at the store’s private opening party in March. ‘Here, there are no boundaries. No constraints.’

When it comes to the deliberately misspelled word ‘fluid,’ Smith explains that ‘PH’ signifies one’s balance between masculinity and femininity and is a reference to the chemistry scale used to measure acidity.

The word ‘Project’ in the name signifies that we’re all a work in progress.

‘Every day I wake up and see more flaws,’ Smith joked.

Social awareness

The brand’s website lists their social code, which states their intent to ‘celebrate what makes us different and cherish what makes us the same’ and to ‘check assumptions at the door.’

The Phluid Project joins an ever-growing list of brands that works to be gender neutral. Other such companies include shoe brand TSKENYA, UK retailer John Lewis, Target’s Toca Boca line, ONEBYME, and NO SESSO.