Supporting the Right Cause During Pride Month

To a lot of people in the LGBT+ community, one of the only things more exciting than going to the pride parades and festivals is finding the perfect thing to wear for it.

pride month is a super exciting time for all LGBTQIA+ folks. Over the last few years, companies have started to find their own ways to profit over the month-long celebrations and excuses to have rainbow things everywhere by selling “pride-themed” clothes, accessories, decorations, or really anything they can stick a rainbow on.

Today I learned that “pinkwashing” is a thing. It means a brand that is using pride month for excellent marketing and profits, but doesn’t support the LGBTQ+ community. To some people, there are levels of this that they can ignore and not feel terrible. If a company isn’t supporting the community but isn’t supporting anything that opposes the LGBTQ+ community, then its more okay than buying pride merchandise from a company who has no intentions of supporting the community.

Most years, I plan to go all out and make something myself that is original and unique, but I usually find myself running to target to find some shirt with a rainbow on it. As more companies started to jump on the pride train, people have become more aware of where their money is going when they buy pride-themed products from big companies, like target, walmart, and pretty much every clothing company around.

In light of the extreme political differences in America right now, it’s always looming in the back of my mind that the money I am spending might be going to something I find totally unethical. So how do we as a community enjoy the abundance of pride merchandise without falling into the pinkwashing craze?

It’s easy! Look for a company that mentions giving back to charities in support of the LGBTQ+ community! The following companies have clothing products considered to be pride merchandise and is donating at least 40% of their proceeds on those products to charities. All of the companies share which charity they are helping and how much money is going to them.

American eagle has a pride collection, 100% of the profit goes to the It Gets Better Project

Abercrombie & Fitch Pride Shop

Levis Pride collection

Urban outfitters has select items from their pride shop that helps charities

Select t-shirts benefit GLSEN and Adidas products sold by UO benefit The Trevor Project

Ralph Lauren’s unisex Pride Collection benefits the Stonewall Foundation

Hollisters Pride collection benefits the GLSEN foundation

100% of American Apparel’s “how we love” collection goes to local LGBTQ+ foundations in Southern California

In addition to these brands, H&m, loft and Gap are donating smaller portions of their pride collections to foundations including the HRC free & equal campaign and GLAAD.

In addition, small businesses are perfect places to find your pride merchandise at. Not every small business in the country may be supportive of the LGBTQ+ community, but it’s easier to find out, and you’ll most likely find something much more special and unique. If you’re lucky enough to live in a town as special as Frederick, there are plenty of shops that have pride-related items for sale. Etsy is another fantastic option for supporting the right people and causes.