Blackpool gender neutral fashion business in line for start-up award

A Blackpool-based gender neutral clothing brand has been nominated for an award as its business takes off internationally.

By Tim Gavell
Thursday, 14th April 2022, 12:30 pm

Joshua Lloyd fashion has been been shortlisted in the Global StartUp category in the StartUp Awards National Series, co-founded by the team behind the Great British Entrepreneur Awards.

The label was launched just before the first pandemic lockdown by Joshua Griffin, a former St George’s and Blackpool and the Fylde College student.

His vision was to offer inclusive, gender neutral clothing, LGBT+ designer-wear and larger size clothing to meet a gap in the market.

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Joshua Lloyd clothing from Kirkham

With orders coming from online al over the world, the business took off and had 300 gender neutral products on its website and 1,000 products altogether after just a year in business.

The label was inspired by Joshua’s friends and family members who are part of the LGBT+ community and he said it retained strong connections and was working alongside charity partners such as LGBT Foundation and The Consortium for LGBT+ to help raise awareness and vital funds for those in need within the community.

He said: “Since the humble beginnings in a bedroom at my parents' house in Blackpool in 2019, the brand now features close to 1,000 LGBTQ+ products with more than 3,000 inclusive apparel and pride accessories in stock based at our small office/warehouse in Kirkham, Preston.

"The brand is not only an e-commerce store, we have a core focus on providing important news, guidance, charity integrations and educational resources to the community to spread equality, love and inclusion which is a core ethos at Joshua Lloyd."

Joshua Griffin owner of the Joshua Lloyd clothing and accessories brand

He said he was delighted to get the nomination for the award which reflected the amount of oversees trade the brand was doing.

He added: “This is an amazing achievement for our brand which has seen exponential international growth over the last few years. Start-up businesses in general have had a hard journey through recent years so this is great news.

“With thousands of applications from across the country, even to be shortlisted is a truly amazing achievement. It would not have been possible without the hard work behind the scenes from everybody involved with the brand, and from our customers and community.”

Supported nationally by BT, EY, Dell & Intel, the Startup Awards programme aims to celebrate the achievements of the amazing individuals across the UK who have turned an idea into an opportunity and taken the risk to launch a new product or service.

Clothing designs from the Joshua Lloyd brand

Professor Dylan Jones-Evans OBE, the creator of the StartUp Awards National Series, said: “​​New firms are important for generating economic prosperity, employment opportunities and innovation. Since 2016, the Wales StartUp Awards have celebrated this amazing annual contribution to our economy by entrepreneurs and the impact they have on communities across the nation."