It’s time to whip out your rainbow flags and attire, Pride Month is officially here. As people prepare for the first Pride Month after the pandemic, many wonder where to shop for new apparel. Whether it be someone’s very first Pride Month, or they simply have outdated clothes, the question arises: Where can someone buy Pride merchandise? It’s key during Pride Month to shop from brands supporting the LGBTQIA community rather than those after capitalist gain. There are several easy and affordable options to shop from this June.
Small Businesses To Support During Pride
There are several options for queer-run small businesses that provide affordable Pride merchandise on websites such as Etsy and TikTok. Many small businesses are often overlooked throughout the year, making Pride the perfect time to show support to LGBTQIA-run businesses. Some examples of these small businesses are:
Run by Michelle, Minichelledesigns is a queer-run business on Etsy that provides Pride merchandise year-round. There are numerous custom pronoun pins, buttons, hats, keychains and stickers centered around countless sexualities and gender identities. There are options to choose more than one pronoun or neopronoun to put on a pin. They also provide products outside of their Pride merchandise such as plant and cat pins.
Nicole Brennan is a queer artist that sells various stickers, pins, earrings, and other forms of art in her Etsy store. Brennan also provides left-wing artwork along with her LGBT merchandise with words such as “Queer Liberation Not Rainbow Capitalism” and “The First Pride Was a Riot.” Under her frequently asked questions, Brennan explained her interest in selling the art that she does:
“Corporations run by cisgender, heterosexual men even go as far as selling Pride merchandise during June just to profit off of the protest that Pride is supposed to be, while not distributing any of the profits made from this merchandise back to the queer community. When you support my art shop, you are supporting a queer creator directly.”
Brennan also uses TikTok to advertise her business and gives users the option to have her package their order in a video.
This small business, run by Alex and Lauren, provides a large variety of Pride merchandise for their customers. According to their website, “We provide rainbow shoes, shirts, hats and more along with gender identity specific items to cater to as much of the lgbt community as we can.” Along with Pride apparel, they also provide options for members of the community who may not be out to their family and friends, including discreet packaging for when it arrives. They also provide a section on their website that advertises other LGBTQIA-run small businesses as well as a newsletter that offers discounts.
This small business was created by a queer couple who hoped to provide fun merchandise for all members of the community and supporters. On their website they state, “Rainbow Certified started with two girls falling in love. We wanted to create a fun, inclusive, positive brand with funky designs that people of all ages could enjoy.” The website provides vibrant apparel such as button-downs, crewnecks and hoodies. They also sell patches and pins, with some subtle pride flag options.
Big Businesses To Shop at for Pride
Many people look straight to big corporations to order Pride merchandise. People are used to big business, so the thought of trying something new breeds the fear of scams and a concern for a decrease in quality. Although most of those sentiments are not true, if you’re still looking to purchase from big corporations during Pride, here are a couple of options.
Target is one of the most loved and well-known businesses for families. Each Pride Month, Target releases its own line of merchandise to celebrate. Being a corporation, they don’t have the best options, but they are affordable. Unlike other corporations that sell Pride merchandise, Target also donates to several LGBTQIA organizations within the nation.
According to its website, “In our 10th year supporting GLSEN and its mission to create affirming, accessible and antiracist spaces for LGBTQIA+ students, we’re making a $100,000 donation (marking nearly $2 million we’ve provided throughout our partnership).” Target also donates to other organizations such as The Human Rights Campaign and Out & Equal. Admittedly, not all of the money goes directly to the community, but the brand of Target shows that they’re not launching their Pride lines just for a cash grab.
Although brands like Target show their authentic support, a lot of big corporations put on a show during Pride Month and reveal their true colors during the other months of the year.
Everyone has been to Walmart at least once in their lives, but many people are unaware that it provides a Pride collection during the month of June. Although it may seem that Walmart is showing its appreciation for its LGBTQIA shoppers, it’s far from it. According to Vox, Walmart funded anti-trans legislators: “A recent Business Insider investigation found that since the beginning of 2018, Walmart had given $58,100 to the Arkansas state legislators who later sponsored the anti-trans bills.” While Walmart profits off of the LGBTQIA community, the money it earns goes directly into the pockets of those harming the community the most.
Although it may provide fast shipping and easy shopping, Amazon is not the best fit for your Pride apparel. For one, the clothing isn’t the best quality, and they feature designs that have been seen time and time again. There is also anti-gay apparel sold on the site, proving that Amazon is mostly after the cash gain from the month of June. Beyond its issues with the clothing, the company itself has been known to treat its employees poorly.
Most corporations are often after the rainbow gain from Pride Month rather than the rights of their shoppers. Before spending money to support the LGBTQIA+ community, it’s important to do your research so you know exactly where it goes once it leaves your pockets. Shopping from small businesses, especially queer-run ones, allows customers to see whether or not their money goes into the community. Pride Month is supposed to be a time to express one’s identity and support your loved ones. In order to effectively support these communities, check to see if your favorites stores do too.