A Tokyo-based company began selling genderless swimsuits featuring a long-sleeved top and shorts — developed for use in school swimming lessons — to the general public on April 19.
Footmark Corp., a manufacturer and retailer of swimming equipment and other products, designed the swimwear to be roomy in the chest and waist areas, making differences in body shape by gender less noticeable. More than 200 schools nationwide are apparently considering introducing the swimsuits this academic year.
In the 2022 school year, three junior high schools in Tokyo and Hyogo Prefecture introduced the swimsuits on a trial basis. According the manufacturer, positive comments were received from students, such as, “It was good to be able to hide my skin and body hair as well as prevent sunburn,” and, “I was able to concentrate on my classes without worrying about my appearance in a swimsuit.
The company says media coverage of the trial sales led to many inquiries not only from schools, but also from individuals. It made further improvements to the swimwear, including a twist to prevent the top from rolling up at the waist and a waterproof finish to prevent wet swimsuits from becoming difficult to take off.
Read more: Genderless school swimwear goes on sale to general public in Japan