There truly is nothing more powerful than the strength and bond that comes from community. That’s why this Pride Month let’s say no to big brands and support the individuals who actually make up the LGBTQ+ community.
From Adidas rainbow shoes to rainbow Listerine packaging the commercialization of Pride Month is becoming increasingly apparent. Support for the LGBTQ+ community has grown immensely since Pride’s inception and continues to grow today. This has created an incentive for big brands to align themselves with LGBTQ+ activism but, is their activism merely performative? The answer is often yes.
As LGBTQ+ rights and issues become increasingly mainstream big brands have begun to use Pride Month as an opportunity to capitalize on the LGBTQ+ market through Pride-themed products.
Many consumers during Pride Month want to show allyship and support for the LGBTQ+ community and big brands take advantage of this. This can make it increasingly difficult to identify corporate attempts to cash in on Pride from genuine LGBTQ+ allyship. For this reason, we suggest supporting small queer-owned businesses and creatives instead of a corporate conglomerate. Feel good about how you are spending your money during Pride Month by spending it on actual members of the LGBTQ+ community, a practice you can continue doing all year round.
Five Queer-Owned Brands to Shop:
Otherwild was founded in 2012 by queer-identifying owner Rachel Berks. Otherwild is a one-stop shop offering a wide range of products such as trendy apparel and accessories, zero waste cleaning supplies and houseware, herbal medicine and vibrators and so much more. Feel good about shopping from a company that is not only dedicated to sustainability and ethical practices but to supporting others through their Anotherwild Fund that provides grants to BIPOC LGBTQ+ small businesses.
Boy Smells’ co-founders and real-life partners Matthew Herman and David Kien are breaking down gender constraints one candle at a time. As they put it, “We wanted to have products that were embracing masculine and feminine simultaneously in a simple and straightforward way that wasn’t overtly targeted to one gender”. But, candles aren’t all they offer. Be sure to check out their intimates made for all genders and sizes. All Pride Month Boy Smells is committed to donating 10% of proceeds from The Pride Collection sales to The Trevor Projects with a minimum donation of $100,000.
Because offers handmade apparel and accessories by Black, Muslim and nonbinary fashion designer and digital artist Hawwaa Ibrahim. In an interview with Them by Michelle Kim, Hawwaa says, “When you buy from queer-owned businesses like mine, you are directly supporting a community that needs equality, understanding, and representation on all levels. They go on to say, “You are pushing that agenda forward.” Check out Because’s one-of-a-kind pieces, crochet bucket hats and trendy jewelry.
It’s hard to talk about LGBTQ+ owned brands without talking about Fluid. The vegan, cruelty-free and paraben-free cosmetic brand is dedicated to creating products for everyone, especially those under-represented in the current beauty market. This Pride when you shop their Pride collection 10% of your spendings will be donated to For Our Sibs, a collective focused on providing mutual aid to Black Transgender, Non-Binary, 2 Spirited and Intersex sibs.
Peau De Loup
Queer and Canadian, Peau Du Loup is a Vancouver-based brand that found its routes designing button-downs for women in hopes of redefining womenswear. Today, Peau De Loup prides itself on creating clothing for all gender expressions with a wide variety of styles from their classic button-downs to pyjamas and hoodies.