Happy Pride Month! Every June, we commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Riots and celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community. Throughout the month, many brands have shown support for the community by adding rainbow effects to their logos or by releasing a Pride collection. While this may be positive at first glance, in some cases, this is part of a trend called “rainbow-washing” or “rainbow capitalism.”
To put it simply, “Rainbow capitalism” is when brands take superficial actions in support of the LGBTQIA+ community to continue to make a profit from them. Many brands engaging in rainbow capitalism will pledge support for the community while funding anti-LGBTQIA+ groups or politicians in the same breath. As Pride month comes to an end, we thought we’d take a look at some major brands that support LGBTQIA+ causes year-round. Thankfully, some brands have put their money where their mouths are by taking genuine steps to support the LGBTQIA+ community. Here are a few of them!
Abercrombie & Fitch
While Abercrombie & Fitch made plenty of headlines in the last decade for its continued practices surrounding sizeism and discrimination, the brand has been taking steps towards inclusivity, whether it be by featuring plus-size models or by featuring themes of gender equality and LGBTQIA+ equality in their products. Since 2010, Abercrombie and Fitch has been a corporate partner of The Trevor Project, a nonprofit organization that provides suicide prevention and crisis intervention for LGBTQIA+ people under the age of 25. A&F is one of only five companies deemed a “Rainbow Partner,” donating more than $1 million to The Trevor Project over the years.
Abercrombie & Fitch also owns Hollister. Hollister is partnered with GLSEN, a leading organization in ensuring that LGBTQIA+ youth attend safe and inclusive schools. Hollister contributes to GLSEN year-round and has raised more than $2 million dollars for the organization.
Each year, Apple releases an Apple Watch Pride Month band collection, but Apple has been a year-round ally to the LGBTQIA+ community for years. The Human Rights Campaign has named Apple one of the Best Places to Work for LGBTQIA+ Equality for more than 15 years. The tech giant also donates to the Trevor Project, The National Center for Transgender Equality, and other organizations that serve the LGBTQIA+ community. With the company led by openly gay CEO Tim Cook, Apple has proven to be an ally far beyond Pride Month.
100% of the net proceeds from the @LEVIS #Pride Collection benefits @OutRightIntl, an organization working to advance human rights for #LGBTQIA+ people around the world. https://t.co/CHKJyu3ZNN
— Levi Strauss & Co. (@LeviStraussCo) June 11, 2021
Levi’s has been a vocal supporter of the LGBTQIA+ community for decades, being the first Fortune 500 company to offer health benefits to unmarried domestic partners back in 1992. Since then, the jeans giant publicly endorsed the Equality Act when it was initially introduced in 2015, and in 2018, Levi Strauss & Co. joined 55 other companies in signing a letter condemning the Trump administration’s transphobic proposal to define gender more narrowly. A few months later, in February 2019, Levi Strauss & Co. joined an amicus brief supporting the rights of a transgender boy who filed a suit with his school for prohibiting him from using the boys’ bathroom.
We are proud to file an amicus brief with @HRC and more than 30 companies in support of transgender students. Learn more on how we’re taking action to #ProtectTransKids. https://t.co/F06sIX0oiK
— Levi Strauss & Co. (@LeviStraussCo) March 1, 2019
This year, Levi’s once again released an annual Pride collection, and donated to OutRight Action International, a worldwide organization advocating for the rights of LGBTQIA+ people.
We hope more brands continue to follow suit and go beyond a rainbow logo to show support for the LGBTQIA+ community every month. It’s also important to acknowledge that Pride month goes far beyond the stores we shop from. Pride encompasses a celebration of the LGBTQIA+ community’s progress and accomplishments, and an acknowledgement of the struggles that persist. Happy Pride!