Ultimate Short Read
This year, we didn’t quite get the Pride we’re all used to - rather than the street parades, parties and nights that we look forward to every year, Pride in 2020 fell during the period of global lockdown which many are still abiding by. Rather than get downhearted, though, many big brands found alternative ways to show their pride and support which stuck to our social distancing rules but brought a bit of colour to our lives.
It’s also worth noting that as we’ve been thinking more about Brand Purpose lately (check out our blog on that here) we’re only really interested in brands who practise what they preach. Plenty of brands can stick a rainbow on a product and call it a Pride special, but without actively supporting the cause, or worse, whilst actively opposing the cause, these displays of solidarity don’t mean much. Sporting a Trump Pride hat is a good example of this, and no, we can’t believe it exists either.
Don’t get us wrong, it’s possible to still miss the mark even with the necessary accompanying donations (a Marks & Spencer ‘LBTQ Sandwich’, anyone?) but doing the work is definitely worth applauding.
So, all the brands we’re celebrating here are following up their fabulous Pride products with actual work - donations, partnerships, platforms and more to the global LBTQIA+ organisations like GLAAD, The Trevor Project and All Out International among others.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at this year’s best and brightest retail Pride campaigns:
Having collaborated with GLAAD for new clothing launches during Pride two years in a row, this year ASOS launched their ‘UNITY’ unisex Pride collection of tees, long-sleeve shirts, tie-dye tops and more. Each of the products is breathable, comfy and - of course - environmentally friendly, while 100% of the profits from the are heading to GLAAD, in true ASOS fashion. (Incidentally, ASOS are one of the few retailers which have pledged to pay all their workers for stopped production during COVID-19 - so you can feel even better about making one of these gorgeous pieces a wardrobe staple).
Converse have knocked it out of the park another year in a row with these gorgeous limited-edition Pride high-tops! Proving that they’re not just sticking to the tried-and-tested method of wheeling out last year’s flags, Converse have taken note of the latest movements of inclusivity to Pride. This year has seen two new colour stripes of brown and black added to the flag, in tribute to the Black activists and activists of colour like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera who pioneered the Stonewall movements of the 1960s - the origins of today’s Pride.
Converse’s new rainbow Chuck Taylor All Stars high-tops include the black and brown stripe, in a move that marks them out as truly listening to the shifts in our cultural consciousness. As it does every year, Converse uses its Pride range to support LGBTQIA+ organisations worldwide including the It Gets Better Project, BAGLY, the Ali Forney Center, and Out MetroWest.
Of course, it’s hard to miss TOMS out on a list of gorgeous, ethical products - the shoe manufacturers are well-known for their altruism. With a slogan like ‘We’re in business to change lives’, it’s hardly surprising that TOM’s donate £1 for every £3 they make, as well as famously donating a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair bought.
Pride is no exception for TOMS, who’ve created their new rainbow range - the LOVE IS LOVE print, UNITY print and tie-dye are our faves - for this year’s celebration. From supporting LGBTQIA+ organisations financially, to providing shoes, and even sight for those in need, it’s safe to say we’ll be picking up another pair for our wardrobe.
Did we miss your fave retail Pride campaign this year? Don't be shy - let us know!