While the COVID-19 pandemic is changing our entire lifestyle, it has a severe impact on the way we do things. The pandemic is also making brands re-think their approach to Pride and how to support the community. Thinking past traditional marches, merchandise, and rainbow platitudes.
Brands can play a big role in empowering the LGBTQ+ community by working with a range of issues. This is true now more than ever with the effects of the Pandemic. There are real frontline emergency needs that are as important, if not more, than flashy commercials filled with platitudes. With social distancing norms being strictly followed, many of the brands are showing their support differently towards their queer customers. Some have changed their policy of sponsoring pride parades. However, other brands are donating proceeds received from Pride merchandise to LGBTQ related organizations all over the world.
Pride Month should act as a catalyst – a starting point – for brands to build relationships with the LGBTQ+ community. This will propel them to create deep and meaningful marketing content throughout the entire year.
Let us have a look at how the brands interact with their customers at these unprecedented times.
Levi’s – The Iconic Brand
This year Levi’s is going gender fluid. For celebrating pride, this brand is using different color schemes as an ode to how far the LGBTQ community has come. Levi’s and Dockers(sister brand of Levi’s) designed different products to promote the community and optimism at a time when celebrations have transitioned from parades to virtual festivities to keep connections alive under difficult times. 100% of their net proceeds from the collection are to be donated to OutRight Action International. OutRight Action International is a nonprofit working year-round at the international, regional, and national levels to research, document, defend and advance human rights for LGBTQ+ people around the world.
“If resilience is defined as being able to adapt in times of stress, then resilience is our lifeline right now, I see so much strength being exhibited by my community right now. The LGBTQ+ population in particular experiences some serious struggles, existential threats, including violence, homelessness or not being able to meet basic needs. I think this pandemic magnifies that. But I think we will come out on the other side, perhaps stronger, more capable.”
-Jarrett Lucas, executive director at the Stonewall Community Foundation, which is once again partnering with Dockers for Pride Month.
Puma in collaboration with actress and model Cara Delevingne creates “From PUMA With Love”. This compromises of a 13-piece range comprising rainbow-colored flip-flops, hoodies, and bum bags. However, Delevingne will on longer be able to wear the collection at this year’s Pride events. However, the brand ambassador will show off the items during Pride-based events on TikTok and Puma’s social media platforms throughout June. In addition to that, 20% of the sale proceeds will be donated to the Cara Delevingne Foundation in support of LGBT+ charities. These will be including GLAAD, The Trevor Project, and Mind Out.
“This collection includes design and creation with so much love. I was really looking forward to wearing it at this year’s Pride celebrations which I was to attend but, given the circumstances, I can’t wait to wear it and celebrate Pride month from my home via Zoom and FaceTime. The LGBTQ+ community deserves to be celebrated. I’m so grateful to have PUMA partner with me to create such a prideful collection.”
-Cara Delevingne, in the press release of “From PUMA With Love”
NYX – The Creative Brand
NYX Professional Makeup’s latest campaign is aiming to set a new standard. NYX Professional Makeup brings exciting news that will give you a reason to break out your rainbow shadows, liners, and lipsticks — they’re bringing the Pride celebration to their customers. A release for the collection says NYX Professional Makeup is donating more than $50,000 to global LGBTQ+ organizations, including the Los Angeles LGBT Center. In addition, NYX launched its #ProudAlliesForAll campaign recently. This initiative will help train the masses on how to be an LGBTQ+ ally — something we definitely need all year long.
“NYX Professional Makeup has always stood for inclusivity and community, and it’s important for the brand to use its platform to celebrate the community that has a big part in who we are today. The brand has had a longstanding commitment to the LGBTQ+ community and proudly champions self-expression through artistry for all.”
– Yann Joffredo, global brand president at NYX Professional Makeup, as shared with InStyle
The makeup brand announced a new set of funky rainbow-themed makeup products for Pride 2020. 100% of net proceeds will be going to the non-profit organization GLSEN. In conclusion, Morphe’s supports the cause of preventing bullying and harassment towards LGBTQ+ students across schools in the United States.
For #Pride2020, ✨🏳️🌈 we created this limited-edition collection for @GLSEN * to inspire you to shine your light and help shape a brighter future for LGBTQ+ students everywhere.
Launching 5.28.20 on https://t.co/Tauaf4i4Wx. 🌈 #FreeToBeYou pic.twitter.com/wxJB4jhuzJ
— Morphe (@MorpheBrushes) May 22, 2020
The Banana Republic is launching a capsule collection of rainbow-themed T-shirts, sweaters, dresses, tank tops, hats, socks, and other accessories to celebrate Pride Month. The brand is pledging $60,000 to the United Nations Free & Equal campaign — a U.N. initiative that promotes equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community — in conjunction with the collection. Above all, The Gap and the Banana Republic are on track to have donated $500,000 in the last five years.