There are so many ways to support the LGBTQ+ community. But our favorite way? Shopping.
Many queer folks face homophobia and transphobia in the workplace, so starting their own company can be a great way to escape the discrimination and create their own safe, loving workplace.
But starting a business and keeping it alive is incredibly difficult — especially for LGBTQ+ founders. According to Backstage Capital, LGBTQ+ founders receive less than 1% of VC funding. In fact, many feel the need to hide their sexual orientation when trying to fundraise.
But what about queer founders who want to start a brand that’s explicitly queer? There’s obviously no way of hiding their identity — nor should they!
But that means it’s even more important than ever to support queer businesses and help them stay afloat.
And fortunately for us, finding awesome queer brands is pretty easy. There are so many creative companies in the beauty industry, fashion industry, and more. There’s certainly no shortage of places to shop for cool pieces to spend your paycheck on.
Below are just a few of our favorites. Think we missed one? Tweet us @femestella and let us know!
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.
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, Tiger Beat, and Sesame Workshop (aka Sesame Street). She loves all things Real Housewives and The Challenge. When she’s not busy binge-watching TV, you can find her taking an absurd amount of photos of her tuxedo cat Tom.