It’s officially that time of year again. That time when big brands pretend to care about LGBTQ rights and make their logos rainbow and come out with expensive Pride collections.
These are some of the same brands that refuse healthcare to their trans employees and fail to speak up when Black trans women are murdered.
But for 30 days out of the year, they are all about the LGBTQ community. They slap a rainbow on a t-shirt and sell it for $50. And sometimes, if you’re really lucky, they’ll even commit to donating 10% of the profits to The Trevor Project.
While some of these collections are, admittedly, super cute, there are much better ways to spend your money.
So, instead of spending a bunch of dough on a brand that may or may not donate to an LGBTQ organization, try giving your money directly to a small, independently-owned LGBTQ company. That way, you can support queer founders and get something cute in the process.
Freck was originally inspired by founder Remi Brixton’s love of freckles and desire to have her own.
As faux freckles blew up on social media, so did Freck. They’ve now expanded to include skincare products like toner and moisturizer as well as natural, clean makeup products.
Wildfang is perhaps one of the most famous brands on this list — you’ve probably even seen celebs wearing their classic “Wild Feminist” tee.
But the brand is so much bigger than that. Wildfang is all about inclusivity and making clothes for people of all gender identities. You can find super cute jumpsuits, button-ups, vests, and everything in between.
Wildfang recently launched a collab with Nordstrom, which is awesome since the department store offers free shipping and returns.
Phlemuns is a trendy, unisex clothing brand designed by Black queer founder James Flemons.
James founded his brand back in 2013 after graduating from FIDM and releases a new collection every year. Pretty much everything he touches is cool, gender-bending, and fashion-forward.
4. Boy Smells
Queer candles? Um, yes please! Boy Smells was designed to be “beyond the gender binary” and wanted to make fragrances that didn’t overwhelmingly seem either “female” or “male.”
The brand was created by couple Matthew Herman and David Kien in 2016 but it’s blown up fast. They’ve even tapped Drag Race stars Symone and Gottmik for their latest campaign alongside Tommy Dorfman and Leyna Bloom.
TomboyX is all about genderless intimates. The brand is notorious for its super cute underwear that will make anyone on the gender spectrum feel comfortable. They’ve since expanded into bras, loungewear, and even swimwear.
The company was founded by married couple Fran Dunaway and Naomi Gonzalez, who felt like there was a gap in the underwear market. So, they created garments that everyone could feel good in, regardless of size or gender identity.
6. Noto Botanics
NOTO Botanics is a gender-fluid vegan brand of clean beauty products including a full skincare line as well as some multi-use lip and face products.
The company was started by queer makeup artist Gloria Noto out of her love for plants and herbalism. She’s also notorious for her philanthropy, giving portions of her profits to organizations like the Okra Project, Planned Parenthood, and more.
In case you missed the memo, Telfar is kind of a Big Freaking Deal. Black queer designer Telfar Clemens has become a celebrity favorite with his vegan leather tote already a status symbol that has been dubbed the “Bushwick Birkin.”
But Telfar is so much more than a single bag. The designer also creates amazing genderless sneakers, tees, jackets, and more.
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Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, and Tiger Beat. Her favorite Housewife is Bethenny Frankel and when she’s not watching RHONY, you can probably find her obsessing over her tuxedo cat Tom or hoarding drugstore lipsticks.