Last Updated on June 4, 2023
Pride month is around this corner and big brands like Amazon, Target, Walmart, GAP, SHEIN, and so many more are “celebrating” by rolling out their pride collections. Not only are large corporations often accused of rainbow-washing but these fast fashion garments were likely made in unsustainable and exploitative conditions. Good on You looked at 20 popular fashion brands with pride apparel and found 0 of them pay a living wage. Additionally, many of these garments are made in countries where it is illegal to be gay.
Some of these companies are even profiting from pride merch while at the same time funding politicians who voted against LGBTQ+ equality. It’s not support or allyship, it’s rainbow capitalism.
Instead of buying your pride clothing from these shady corporations, we’ve researched and collected a list of small businesses (many queer-owned) who are sustainably and ethically making pride shirts and rainbow merchandise and actually deserving of support!
And of course don’t forget DIY and secondhand are amazing, sustainable options for pride too! 🌈
Where to Find Ethical Pride Clothing
(please note: some affiliate links are used in this post which means we may get a small commission)
One of our favorite slow fashion brands! Anne Mulaire is a queer and indigenous owned brand with deep-rooted values. Their garments are all made in their Winnipeg studio where workers are paid a living wage. They also have fantastic circularity and sustainability initiatives such as their zero waste and resale programs.
You can also check out our interview to learn more about Anne Mulaire.
A Canadian queer-owned line of body and gender-affirming swimwear and lingerie custom made for all sizes, shapes, abilities, and gender expressions. Their garments are made in-house in Montreal by their diverse team. Origami Customs built ethical labour and sustainability into the foundation of their business from the start. Additionally they also donate to various organizations including donating gender-affirming garments to those who can’t afford them.
I spoke with owner Rae Hill recently (check out our interview here) and am so impressed by how they’ve built an apparel business with such a positive impact and incredible community support.
Origami Customs has many great products but for rainbow apparel, most of their swimwear is available in a rainbow print! They do free custom sizing and fit for everyone.
A queer-owned brand creating unique upcycled clothing. Zero Waste Daniel developed their innovative “re-roll” technique as a way to repurpose fabric scraps and remnants into a modern patchwork fabric. All ZWD pieces are one-of-a-kind and made in their NYC studio. They have even collaborated and created custom garments for many famous drag queens such as Shea Couleé and drag activist Pattie Gonia.
While Zero Waste Daniel doesn’t specifically made rainbow shirts, their mixed print reroll pieces (pictured) showcases a variety of colors and colorful prints that work perfect for both pride celebrations and everyday wear. Their garments are available in sizes XS – 3XL.
TomboyX is a queer-owned, USA based brand and working on various sustainability initiatives. They work primarily with WRAP and Fair Labor Association factories and say they are, “hoping to have all facilities certified soon”.
Their Rainbow Pride collection includes underwear, activewear, and apparel with both bold and subtle rainbow designs. Their garments are available in an inclusive size range from 3XS – 6XL.
Take one look at Lucy & Yak and you can tell this brand loves color and rainbows. While not queer-owned Lucy & Yak highlights and celebrates diversity and supports LGBTQ+ organizations. They are UK based, use sustainable fabrics and have a take-back circularity program.
Lucy & Yak has rainbow options in many styles. Their garments are available in sizes 4 – 32 UK or XS – 4XL.
One of our favorite organic sock brands, each pair of comfy Conscious Step LGBTQ socks donates $1 to The Trevor Project. Their socks are ethically made from organic and fair trade cotton and are also vegan certified. They have many certifications to back-up their sustainability and ethical manufacturing claims – Conscious Step socks are made in India in a factory that is OEKO-TEX, GOTS and Fairtrade International certified as well as audited by WRAP and SEDEX. (Learn more about these certifications here)
I’ve worn Conscious Step socks for years and love the quality, fit, and fun prints!
Organic cotton underwear brand with a cute rainbow stripe pride collection. Thunderpants is transparent about their sourcing and supply chain with some certifications such as GOTS and Fair Trade. They have USA, UK/EU, and NZ branches which are each made locally and they detail their ethical standards on each site.
Thunderpants are available from sizes SM – 3X.
One-of-a-kind, genderless pieces made in NY from upcycled and reconstructed materials. Since each piece is unique their collection is ever-changing, but for rainbow/colorful options definitely check out their granny tanks (made from upcycled crochet blankets) and variety of accessories. They also occasionally have “junk drawer” shorts in stock with little rainbows and other small details.
The Series offers sizing from XS – 4XL.
Ethical Pride Accessories & Flags
Looking for ethically-made pride flags from a queer-owned business? Pride Flag SD has a variety of queer identity flags in different sizes. Their flags are locally hand-sewn in San Diego from outdoor/weather-resistant nylon strips. They prioritize living wages and making high-quality flags that will last year after year.
This queer-owned jewellery brands creates gender-free jewellery including everyday pieces as well as wedding and engagement rings. Their pieces are ethically made in-house from 100% reclaimed gold and they offer inclusively-sized rings from 2-16.
Finally, Etsy can be a great place to find pride merch and small, queer-owned businesses to support! Just note that not everything on Etsy may be ethically made as Etsy does allow shops to sell goods from third party manufacturers. Message the shop owner if you have questions!
And brands we missed with rainbow products? Please share in the comments!