June is when people around the world are celebrating sexual diversity and raising awareness for the current problems that the community is facing. This year has been challenging from the start, with a pandemic, and now protests against racism and police brutality. The LGBT community is split between holding digital events and marches in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter cause. The events will surely leave a mark in history.
In comparison 2019 surely seemed a lot simpler. It was also the year when the LGBT community celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. New York City was chosen to be the host location for WorldPride 2019. In the light of Pride Month, we are exploring how brands supported the LGBT community last year.
One of the interesting ways brands showed support is by including rainbow colors on their products. Absolut Vodka who’s been standing by the LGBT community for 35 years, released rainbow-colored spirits bottle. Budweiser produced a set of cups with different LGBTQ+ flags. They also partnered with nine charities that support the whole LGBT+ community. Converse has been releasing rainbow collections every year since 2014. They are often including Pride flags in their designs to show love and support. Nike created 2019 BETRUE collection with an original eight-color flag on its amazing design. Nike is determined to make a difference and participate in initiatives against discrimination in sport.
Adidas also launched a Pride collection for 2019 of shoes and sneaks with flag colors, as well as the Brooks Running. Primark released PRIMARK’s “Feeling Proud” collection and they also made a £150,000 donation to help in the fight for LGBTI rights. Apple once again didn’t disappoint. They made a special edition of the rainbow sport bands for the Apple Watch to participate in Pride month by showing a beautifully designed support. Fossil also launched a limited-edition Pride Month watch designed with a rainbow strap. All funds gathered for the cause went to Hetrick-Martin Institute.
Reebok made a collection of sneakers with a rainbow flag, Pride t-shirts, and accessories. Part of the profit made from those products went to Fenway Health. Gap released a rainbow T-shirt collection as well as shorts and accessories. They gave away 15 percent of sales from the collection to the LGBT campaign. Banana Republic made a Pride capsule collection including apparel and accessories with images of bananas, elephants, and rainbows. $60,000 was donated from sales of this collection.
2019 was the first year that Ralph Lauren launched a collection supporting LGBT rights. Remember their famous Polo shirts? Those are one of five gender-neutral pieces released as a part of this campaign. Rainbow colors are included in designs and the brand’s logo is made in rainbow colors for this occasion, too. Rainbow sole and pull tab in these colors were part of the design of Hunter’s Pride Month Play Boot. Teva also made a rainbow-colored Flatform Universal Pride Sandal and donated $30,000 from sales. Ugg donated 25 percent of the $100 slide with pride colored stripes.
Bombas donated 40 percent of its rainbow-colored socks profit to homeless LGBTQ youth.
Peloton created yoga and tread classes and they have teamed up with Madona to bring the best experience possible to the world. 1$ from each participant in the Madonna-themed Pride workout will be going to New York City’s LGBTQ Center funding.
Equinox donated $1 (up to $20,000) to House Lives Matter from each media post featuring #PoweredByPride or Life’s a Ball GIPHY voguing sticker.
SoulCycle gave 10% off their sales to The Trevor Project. They also released a free poster pack, Pride playlist, and pride swag in rainbow colors to support pride parade.
H&M organized an event in the House of Yes to celebrate and support Pride Month. Also, 10 percent of the global sales from a Pride-themed collection went to the United Nations’ Free and Equal campaign. Partnered with Laverne Cox, they made the “Stay True, Stay You” campaign.
Hyatt celebrated this month in several ways. They offered food and beverages in all their objects with money from sales going to an LGBTQ charity. An installation entitled “SOURCE: PRIDE” by pop culture artist Keith Haring was presented by Park Hyatt New York. LGBT+ stars Years & Years, Boy George and Corine performed at a party hosted by Disneyland Paris.
Makeup brands also joined this cause, contributed by coloring their collections, and donating money from sold pieces. Beautyblender gave 10 percent from the sale of its Pride-themed products to the Human Rights Campaign. Milk Makeup donated $50,000 of proceeds from the makeup kit in a cute rainbow detailed bag to The Center. Marc Jacobs Beauty donated 10 percent of sales of their rainbow packaged lip gloss to Sage, an organization that supports older members of the LGBTQ community. Kiehl’s released limited-edition Pride-themed products and donated proceeds from the collection to NYC Pride, Christopher Street West, and the Hetrick-Martin Institute. Harry’s launched a “Shave With Pride” set in a box designed by Spanish illustrator, José Antonio Roda. 100% of profits that this popular men’s grooming brand went to The Trevor Project.
Tinder installed a 30-foot-tall rainbow Tinder Pride slide in a New York City. Each of the slide’s 30 feet represented a state that still didn’t have a non-discriminatory law. $10 from each ride taken was sent toward the HRC as a brand donation to the cause. Everywhere around the slide, the brand posted educational signs and banners about the Equality Act and listed the mentioned 30 states. Education is an important part when it comes to making a difference. Tinder is not the only one educating consumers about LGBT.
Amazon engaged people in their support system by giving them the opportunity to ask Alexa everything about this community and the problems that they are facing. Alexa is answering questings and educating, while also encouraging people to help by reporting abuse. Flywheel hosted donation-based classes throughout the month of June in NYC, San Fransisco, DC, Chicago, and LA.
Instagram joined an educational way of celebrating this year’s Pride month by setting up installations with lesser-known LGBTQ+ activists, important places, and movements. Installations were placed across New York with a #UntoldPride hashtag. This helped to inform people, show support, and spread love.
Spotify released a list of songs by famous artists of the LGBTQ community to support Pride month. They also organized podcasts featuring LGBTQ+ creators and guests.
Skittles decided to celebrate last year’s Pride month by choosing 4 artists that identify with LGBT to design their packaging. As a result, there were 4 designs, each representing LGBT rights while staying true to Skittles’ brand style.
NASA hired artist Lauren Power to create a NASA Pride 2019 logo, although the USA banned flying the rainbow flag. This brave act showed so much love and support.
American Express hosted a special concert at New York’s Times Square Edition hotel and all profits were donated to the Stonewall Community Foundation.
Whether it’s coloring their products in rainbow colors, preparing educational content or organizing events, donating, or hiring famous artists to contribute to the cause, many global and local brands gave their best to show support to LGBT community. They underlined problems that this community is facing and did their part of the job to help. Now it’s time for us to show love, support, compassion and to empower everyone to feel comfortable being their true self.