Queer Owned Brands to Support During Pride Month and Always
As we head into Pride month, you are bound to start seeing a lot of big retailers start plastering rainbows on everything and spouting that they’re ‘happy to serve everyone’ and ‘Love is Love’. While the broader acknowledgement, acceptance, and visibility are quite nice, (god, it’s a nice change of pace to feel seen in the middle of a Target.) it could also potentially be ‘Rainbow Capitalism’.* While the occasional big brand rainbow mug or t-shirt isn’t the end of the world, it can be much more impactful to invest in, and shop with queer owned brands. By finding smaller, queer owned, and sometimes even local brands, you are putting your money directly into the hands of the folks who need it most, instead of into big box pockets. We’ve done our research, and found some wonderful queer owned companies who not only have similar brand values as us, but are making some pretty cool stuff, too! Here is a list of some of our favorite queer owned brands!
If you are looking for anything from eco-friendly household essentials, to apparel and accessories, to apothecary needs, look no further than Otherwild! Operating out of Los Angeles, Otherwild is a “queer-identified woman-owned store, design studio and event space” that puts a central focus on ethics as the core of the business. Not only does Otherwild produce some of the items themselves, they also showcase a number of other smaller creators and vendors, too! And that’s not even mentioning their ‘Anotherwild Fund’, (a grant for Queer and Trans People of Color), which is funded by their ‘Anotherwild Fund Collection’, AND their continued steps towards sustainability! Be sure to check them out!
Founded by Vee B. M., LMSW (she/they), Black Queer Magic offers “handmade jewelry and creative wellness workshops to aid in the adornment, empowerment, and reclamation of Black LGBTQ bodies”. With a strong focus on DEI, and a history working with LGBTQ communities, Vee not only creates beautiful jewelry and accessories, but also offers jewelry workshops, as well as DEI and art coaching. As the sole artist, designer, and metalsmith behind BQM, Vee “merges their love of community activism, creative wellness, and jewelry fabrication”. If you are looking for some absolutely gorgeous statement pieces to add to your collection, be sure to stop by BQMNY.com.
One of the bigger names on this list, gc2b is a Trans-owned company, with a focus on gender affirming clothing. In 2015, gc2b’s founder, CEO, and designer, Marli Washington, noticed that the options for safe, effective chest binding were limited, if not non-existent. Marli then used his experience in product design to create a safe, comfortable, and accessible binding option “by trans people, for trans people”. Flash forward 7 years later, and gc2b was the “first garments designed and patented specifically for gender-affirming chest binding”. They have also started a philanthropic program called 2b.Care, which focuses on “Uplifting organizations and individuals committed to positive impact and community-centered initiatives''. If you’re not currently in the market for a binder, but would still like to support this super awesome brand, they have t-shirts and pins available as well for fans, friends, and allies!
Based in Philadelphia, Sapphic Apothecary is a womxn owned and operated business, that specializes in handcrafted, small batch candles, and queer centric apparel. They utilize “100% organic USA grown soy, ethically sourced and produced in an environmentally responsible way, with 90% of materials being purchased from local suppliers”. Also, all of their T-shirt designs are done “in-house”, and are all original, and brand exclusive. Each candle is hand etched, and poured with care from small batches, to ensure consistent quality. With unique, enticing scents, available in multiple sizes, this is definitely the spot for your next candle splurge.
With a focus on beautiful indigenous beadwork, Queerkwe Designs has a great selection of gorgeous, unique designs to help you show your pride. Whether you are looking for something bold, and colorful, or something a little more subtle, Queerkwe Designs has got you covered when it comes to intricate, one of a kind jewelry.
Wildfang is a clothing company that focuses on shifting the fashion industry's “outdated gender norms” into something newer and more modern. At Wildfang, “We embrace our masculine, our feminine, and our-everything-in-between”. With a passion for inclusivity, sustainability, and giving back to their community, not only are they on the road to being climate neutral as of 2022, but have also given back over $650k to good causes like ProjectQ, ACLU, Planned Parenthood, Tegan & Sara Foundation, RAICES, Girls Inc, and many more. With fabulous, fashionable options for all humans, you are sure to find something you love at Wildfang.
June is also a great time to seek out Pride events in your area, and see if you can connect with local, queer owned brands in your own community! What are some of your favorite LGBTQ+ owned brands?
*Rainbow Capitalism is when any company with a less than great track record within the LGBTQIA+ Community proudly displays rainbow product options all through the month of June, without any intention of sharing their profits with the community, educating themselves or their company on LGBTQIA+ issues, or even being decent to the queer community they claim to support. It also tends to end promptly on July 1st, not to be spoken of again until next June.