High street giant River Island has been accused of selling “sexy’ and inappropriate clothing for children as young as five.
Mums are accusing the retailer of sexualising children after on parent spotted skin-tight leather trousers on display in the store’s kids section.
Furious mums and dads are demanding the fashion store remove the offending items and have even accused River Island of “stripping the innocence away from kids”.
One grandmother brought the matter to light while shopping with her daughter in Worcester, reports The Mirror .
Helen Richards, 60, had been browsing the aisles for an outfit for her nine-year-old granddaughter on Tuesday when she noticed the trousers on display.
Ms Richards, said: “Why are they sexualising children? Why do they feel the need to put leather trousers for parents to buy for their child?
“It’s so wrong, especially in this day and age. We shouldn’t encourage our children to dress like that.
“There’s more than one way to take away a child’s innocence. I am so angry.”
The gran-of-seven said the £12.99 leatherette trousers were available to buy from aged five to age 12.
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Ms Richards, who was shopping with her 33-year-old daughter Alison, added: “It was the first time I have been in months.
“I was shopping with my daughter who was looking for an outfit for her daughter.
“She pointed at these trousers, and I was so shocked. I am usually the one who mentions this sort of thing.”
Ms Richards said she was particularly concerned because of recent fears about a kidnap gang approaching children in Worcester.
She said: “That sort of thing makes me think speak out. There are other options of clothes for children to wear.
“I think River Island should remove the clothing from their store immediately. I’m also worried the clothes might attract unwanted attention.
“Young people can’t deal with that and it can take away their childhood.”
Other parents were quick to hit out at the fashion shop.
Mum-of-three Rachel Shepherd, 49, of Worcester, found the clothing items while browsing online.
She said: “I was outraged when I spotted the trousers but do them as skimpy shorts as well is just unbelievable.
“It shouldn’t be allowed. What five-year old girl needs skin-tight leather trousers? I understand fashion but you have to draw a line somewhere and I think these should be removed at once.
“It is not appropriate to be marketing them at kids. If I saw any child walking around in those I wouldn’t know what to do with myself.
“Kids should not be allowed to wear sexualised clothing and tight leather shorts are just that.”
A River Island spokesperson said: “We take in age-appropriateness, style and function into consideration in all our Kidswear designs, together with customer demand.”