Every year, June marks Pride Month for the LGBT+ community in commemoration of the Stonewall riots which occurred at the end of June 1969. There will be events up and down the country, as well as globally, throughout the month in order to celebrate LGBT+ rights. But what is the fashion industry doing for Pride Month?
At the end of May, H&M launched their first ever Pride fashion collection in support of the LGBT+ community, named ‘Love For All’. The collection includes items such as t-shirts, shorts, sweatshirts and bags, all donned with the Pride rainbow of colours. Not only this, but 10% of the sale price of each item will be donated to the UN Free and Equal campaign. As a well-known high street brand,H&M have set an example for other UK fashion companies.
Primark also announced their range of Pride merchandise to be sold across select US and European stores, with the charity Stonewall receiving 20% of the proceeds. Despite this campaign, Primark has been accused of “pinkwashing” in their collection and were slammed for their controversial partnership with Stonewall. Despite being one of the largest UK LGBT+ charities, Stonewall are not involved in Pride events. Therefore, Primark have been heavily criticised on social media for making profits whilst doing nothing to support Pride.
Iconic footwear brand Dr Martens have announced their 2018 Pride Boot, along with their collaboration with four LGBTQ artists to design artwork for the campaign. The boot is a retake on their classic 1460 design, with a rainbow pattern to mark the occasion. By promoting and supporting the work of LGBTQ artists, it is clear that Dr Martens have taken their campaign one step further.
In the world of technology and accessories, Apple has announced the launch of a Pride watch face, providing Apple Watch users with a moving multi-coloured Pride flag as their background. As well as this, last year Apple created a rainbow watch strap, with proceeds going to various LGBT+ charities. Their continued support and having a free watch face for users appears to be a more genuine attempt to stand up for LGBT+ rights.
Although big brands such as these making profit out of LGBT+ causes is more than slightly problematic, it is important for the fashion industry to explicitly and vocally address these issues, alongside supporting LGBT+ charities in their efforts for worldwide equality and acceptance.
Although there is still much more to be done for the LGBT+ community in securing justice and equal rights, Pride Month is just one example of a positive way in which we can engage with the community.
Happy Pride Month everyone!
Love Sophie xx