Pride Collections Without Commodification – Daily Trojan

Many stores have themes for this Pride month, Converse being one of them. Their theme for 2022 is “Pride by You,” a collection the company has pledged to donate $1.6 million to LGBTQIA+ causes like BAGLY. The collection includes shoes, shirts and other accessories. (Photo courtesy of Creative Commons)

June: A beautiful month for “Stranger Things” inspired summers and rainbows flying left and right. While Pride month is generally known for having wonderful floats and parades, another facet of Pride is, of course, rainbow capitalism.

Rainbow capitalism is the commodification of pride and the use of ‘equality’, ‘freedom’ and ‘love’ as aspects of marketing, rather than actually promoting the movement.

Nevertheless, some companies are taking this time to donate to LGBTQIA+ causes and join the movement for queer and trans community visibility. So, in this spirit of visibility, here are some brands to buy from this month of June.

Adidas – 10/10

Adidas’ theme for this year is “Love Unites”, a sentiment underpinned by its belief in ending homophobia and transphobia in sport. This year, this company has partnered with the Athlete Ally organization to do just that. The street style collection takes the rainbow to a whole new level with graffiti-inspired artwork that makes each piece unique. From sweaters to shorts and sweatshirts to socks, the collection is both uniform and subtly different as you move through each piece, making it even more special to behold.

Some notable pieces also bear the words ‘Love Unites’ in graffiti style, which keeps them from being tacky and makes them blend in well with the rest of the collection. A favorite piece for me has to be the 70s inspired graffiti black bucket hat which stays true to the theme of the collection and is easy to pair with any outfit.

Converse- 8/10

A mix of subtle and downright fabulous is what’s in store from Converse’s “Pride By You” collection. Pledging over $1.6 million to LGBTQIA+ causes like BAGLY and Las Fotos Project since 2015, you can shop Pride at Converse with a clear conscience. Working with a number of LGBTQIA+ artists, the company has released a number of shoes and various other accessories that scream Pride.

Some notable mentions are the trans flag and Pride flag shoes which are shaped like a sun, which have just enough color to be tasteful without being overwhelming. On the other hand, there are more decorative Pride shoes to choose from, such as the Rainbow Platforms or the Full Covered Rainbow Converse Shoes. While it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, there are certainly other options to choose from if that’s the case, and the brand certainly has something for everyone.

Disney- 7/10

Disney has failed in the past with a few questionable Pride collections to say the least, but this year there seems to be a slight improvement in branding with its Disney Pride collection. Donating 100% of profits made on all Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar and Disney characters in the collection to organizations like The Trevor Project, this is another collectible that will ensure your money goes to good cause.

There are adorable button-downs in the collection with the Pride flag and shirts with rainbow-colored Disney characters, but you can’t expect Disney to be subtle. The collectible might not be the most practical or portable, but Disney Minnie Mouse Ears with a Rainbow, along with other collectibles, are perfect for a trip to Disneyland.

Vans – 10/10

A hint of pride goes a long way, and that’s what you get this year with Vans’ “Together as Ourselves” collection. This is yet another brand to invest in if you are looking for colorful accessories. You can also tell this collection was created by LGBTQIA+ artists because the collection is so beautifully articulated and serene.

A notable shoe is the white briefs with kisses on them that make up the lesbian flag, a community that is often less visible than the others. Their touch of pride in their very artistic collection makes it one of the most remarkable collections of the group. Kohl’s promotes Vans products, as well as other Pride collections, in their stores.

Target – 7/10

What would this list be without the infamous Target collection? Collaborating with various artists and working with anti-racism and LGBTQIA+ affirming organization GLSEN, this collection does a good job of bringing pride to everyone.

Target has previously been derided for having below-average collections, but this year’s “Take Pride” is different. With lines that affirm the body of TomboyX and Humankind, the collection prides itself on its everyday usability.

Pride is a time of celebration, and what better way to do it than fashion? Buying from brands that thwart rainbow capitalism is key to successful Pride, and these are just a few of the many companies that donate to worthy causes.


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