On June 1, the calendar brings a big celebration: Pride. If you’re in the mood to celebrate Pride Month with a new pair of kicks or a cute new beach towel, you’re in luck. Many companies are busting out the rainbow gear for June. However, with all of this new Pride merchandise, how does it benefit the LGBTQ community? Here’s a guide on how your purchase affects LGBTQ individuals. I’ve detailed the big companies releasing pride gear and where the money goes. If you want to buy some pride merchandise, you might as well do a bit of good, right?
Target has offered Pride gear for the last several years, and 2019 is no exception. Target has named their campaign #TakePride and urges consumers to celebrate Pride with an assortment of gear including shirts, towels, floats, and more. The company says #TakePride is “We’re not born with pride. We take pride. Pride in celebrating who we were born to be.” The Pride merchandise is available in kids and adult sizes, with plenty of rainbows splashed all over everything. Target is donating $100,000 to GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network) to help with their efforts in creating inclusive schools. The company also teamed up with Harry’s for a Pride Shaving Set with 100% of the profits donated to The Trevor Project.
Disney recently announced it would have an official Gay Pride event on June 1 in Disneyland Paris, taking over an unofficial gathering arranged by a travel agency. Magical Pride says participants can “Dress like a dream, feel fabulous and experience Walt Disney Studios Park like never before – loud, proud and alive with all the colours of the rainbow!” The company has offered Disney-themed Pride merch before, but this is the first official Pride event. Walt Disney World has the home of Gay Days, an unofficial LGBTQ gathering held each summer but never officially promoted it. Still, Disney has a new selection of Pride merchandise available at the parks and at ShopDisney.com. Some of the merchandise is Park-exclusive while other merchandise will be exclusively available at ShopDisney.com. The Disney Rainbow Collection features rainbow pins, ear hats, tumblers, backpacks, and other accessories with a rainbow Mickey. Disney will donate 10% of sales to GLSEN.
Converse’s annual Pride collection is heating up Twitter, and this year marks a new addition: trans-themed sneakers. The new collection is to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Pride and features designs for their All Star High Top and Low Top. You can also customize your own shoe, choosing the details of the body, tongue, heel stripe, binding, lining, stitch, and more. Converse says they’re donating to It Gets Better Project and OUT Metrowest but without details of how much or if its a portion of the proceeds.
Everlane created their 100% Human Collection in 2017 to celebrate all identities, and donated proceeds to the Human Rights Coalition. To date, they’ve donated over $200,000. This year, the company is donating $5 from every product sold to the ACLU. The collection of sweatshirts and tees features minimal design, a departure from rainbow hues but still doing a bit of good.
Zennie first introduced their rainbow Pride specs in 2018, and the limited-edition eyewear generated $20,000 donated to It Gets Better Project. You can still buy the glasses and 100% of your purchase goes to the non-profit. Order them as sunglasses or as reading glasses, your choice. Each pair is less than $20.
Starbucks has only one piece of Pride merchandise: an in-store only shiny rainbow 24 oz tumbler for Pride. It features a gradient design mixed with a pinstripe with the words “LOVE.” It’s cute and certainly useful for after Pride, but we don’t know how much it benefits the LGBTQ community. Starbucks hasn’t announced if they’re making a donation but did say in a statement: “Beyond the new Pride cup, Starbucks continues to be an advocate for the LGBTQ community and strives to create a culture of belonging, inclusion, and diversity. In addition to health benefits for partners in LGBTQ relationship, the company has also supported partners who are transgender or considering transitioning, and even broadened health care coverage to include gender reassignment surgery.”
Adidas returns with another line of Pride merchandise in their Pride Pack. The new collection will be available June 1 at 3:00 PM EDT. The designs are subtle but feature rainbows, with Adidas using the colors on shorts, shirts, hoodies, and more. Adidas has also remade 4 of their popular designs with Pride hues. No news on a donation to a non-profit, but the brand has given portions of previous Pride merchandise to Portland’s New Avenues for Youth.
Old Navy has taken on the motto of “Love, Pride, Family” for their 2019 Pride collection of apparel. It’s unknown if a donation will be forthcoming. GAP Inc, the brand’s parent company, donated $5 from each sale of a special “We Are One” shirt in 201 to the United Nations Free & Equal Campaign.
H&M has a new capsule collection all about LGBTQI equality called Stay True, Stay You. The campaign even includes appearances by Laverne Cox, Shannon Beverige, and Brock Williams. Sold in stores and online, the clothing features graphic prints with the rainbow on bodysuits, shorts, tops, jackets, and more. A total of 10% of each sale will be donated to the United Nations Free & Equal Campaign.