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Beyond Pride Month: H&M and Banana Republic Partner with UN to Support LGBT+ Equality

Pride Month is coming to a close as June ends. The last Pride parades are out on the streets. Some corporations are even back to their regular logos! But the fight for Pride is still ongoing.

We must not forget that LGBT+ equality is far from a reality in our world. In many countries, queer youth face threats to their lives and livelihoods. So support for LGBT+ causes cannot end with Pride Month. This goes doubly so for brands and manufacturers!

The fashion industry in particular owes much to LGBT+ people. Designers such as Gianni Versace, Alexander McQueen, Tom Ford, Yves Saint Laurent have influenced every corner of the fashion world. Think about it: every couture item you love has been made or influenced by queer luminaries! For those in the fashion world, supporting the LGBT+ community is not just a mere courtesy. It is in fact our obligation!

There are many ways for brands to support the LGBT+community. In a previous article, we had discussed Pride-themed collections launched by fashion brands. Sales from such collections can go to LGBT+ causes. Another good way to support nonprofits is to take a leaf from H&M and Banana Republic.

In June this year, both fashion brands partnered with the UN Free & Equal Campaign. The United Nations’ Free & Equal Campaign (UNFE) is one of the principal movements for LGBT+ equality around the world. Created on July 2013, UNFE strives to create LGBT+ awareness and support for queer youth in various countries. The UNFE campaign creates content (i.e., videos, infographics, fact sheets etc.) for traditional and social media platforms.

H&M Banana Republic UN LGBT Equality

H&M and Banana Republic are long-standing supporters of Free & Equal. Both companies have donated $100,000 and $60,000 respectively this year. This brings H&M’s total donations to UNFE to $850,000; Banana Republic’s total donations are $240,000.

In a statement to the press, CEO Ana Andjelic said that “inclusion has always been part of Banana Republic’s DNA.” Andjelic said that she was proud “to support the [UNFE] mission for LGBTI equality and human rights.”

H&M Banana Republic UN LGBT Equality

Likewise, H&M Global Sustainability Manager Pascal Brun described Pride as part of the core values of his company. Brun also reaffirmed H&M’s “social vision to enable everyone. . . to live the life they want, express who they are and to be the best [version] of themselves.”

Think of ways you can foster LGBT+ allyship at your company. A great starting point could be by sharing this music video: it is “the first ever Bollywood music video for gay rights!” Other ways to show support is through LGBT+ friendly posts on social media. 

Like we said earlier, Pride Month may be over but the fight for Pride (and LGBT+ equality) is not. Companies, especially in the fashion industry, play a crucial role as allies. Visit the UNFE website here and join the revolution to paint our world rainbow!

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