With Pride Month in full-swing, popular brands are adding special edition collections of various rainbow T-shirts and accessories to their virtual shelves. This is totally awesome, but the themed designs aren’t likely to live past June. Plus, spending your money at big-name companies generally doesn’t support the LGBTQ+ community as much as you’d probably think or want.
That’s why I’ve rounded up a list of my favorite LGBTQ+ created and owned companies. Proceeds from many of these shops go towards different causes close to the companies’ hearts – ones that actually benefit the community – and their products are perfect for the whole year.
- Style is Freedom
Style is Freedom is a genderless streetwear company created in 2008 by Toni Branson, who grew up a TOMBOI and felt uncomfortable in a gender-based world.
“A TOMBOI is a Talented Original Motivated Brilliant Outstanding Individual, not defined based on gender or sexuality,” the website says.
You’ll find no men’s or ladies’ section, as Toni wanted to create a brand for all humans, without gender labels.
- Bianca Designs
Bianca Negron is a self-described “queer artist who loves to create things that are both meaningful and beautiful.” Bianca has donated to a number of causes, whether through special collections or dedicated proceeds, and is very transparent about where the donations go.
The shop features pride pins and stickers, hats, tees and more.
Wildfang is the one-stop female empowerment shop. Founded and run entirely by women, the tomboyish apparel store proves that girls can wear and be whatever the hell they want to.
Wildfang has donated over $500 thousand dollars since their inception.
- FLAVNT Streetwear
Identical twins Chris and Courtney founded FLAVNT to give confidence and pride to the LGBTQ+ community. The brand offers tons of comfortable queer-themed sweats and T-shirts, all modeled on locals within the Central Texas Queer community.
As a “small brand doing big things to help the LGBTQ+ community,” FLAVNT takes on partnerships with individuals to raise funds for surgeries in their transition.
- FtM Detroit
The Detroit-based Etsy shop was made by and for transmasculine people. FtM Detroit is an organization to bring people together and promote “positive visibility and presence of the transmasculine community”.
All proceeds from the locally printed shirts go back to FtM Detriot to help it transition to a non-profit.
Originally created to fill a gap in the underwear industry, TomboyX now offers a wide range of apparel, swim and accessories, while still specializing in undergarments.
Founders Fran and Naomi were on the hunt to create underwear they felt comfortable in as tomboys. “Underwear that fit regular bodies and fit how we saw ourselves. And underwear that any body could feel comfortable in, regardless of where they fell on the size or gender spectrum,” the wrote on site.
Their undies are fit-tested on hundreds of bodies to ensure everyone is comfortable and confident in what they’re wearing.
- The Phluid Project
The Phluid Project is more than a genderless clothing brand. It is a place to create community through fashion, music, literature, media and events. With probably the largest selection of clothing, accessories and even beauty products and a baby section, it doesn’t stop there.
The website is also a hub of resources like hotlines, media representation, upcoming events, a hand-picked Spotify playlist of LGBTQ+ music, literature and much, much more.
- Stuzo Clothing
QPOC couple Stoney Michelli and Uzo Ejikeme started Stuzo Clothing to create a space for all-welcoming, judgement-free fashion.
All items are unisex, but the couple prefers the term gender free. “Clothes don’t have any organs last time we checked,” they say in their mission statement.
The tomboyish athleisure is comfortable for everyone, but also brings the big city fashion vibes.
- Haute Butch
Haute Butch is the go-to for those seeking masculine fashion. The founder, Karen, grew up a tomboy, always challenging fashion “norms.” Haute Butch is for the dapper “stud, androgynous, trans and butch style seekers.”
They offer everything from casual wear to tuxedos, vests and formal attire.
When it comes to supporting our LGBTQ+ community by means of shopping addiction, I’m going to respectfully pass right by the special edition Pride Month collections and head straight to one of these LGBTQ+ run shops.