This year we are not entertaining pink-washing
Every June, the rainbows start to appear. From Ikea bags to fluffy Ugg slippers, the shelves become flooded with pink-washed products proclaiming solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community – for the next 30 days that is.
Limited-edition collections from corporation-owned brands often capitalise on queer identities for profit without offering much in return. They sell their “love is love” slogan-branded products, make their 10 per cent donation and then move on.
But being an ally is a year-round commitment. Being an ally means hiring LGBTQ+ people as well as including us purely in one-time campaign imagery. It means supporting LGBTQ+ causes beyond Pride month alone.
So, this year, we are investing our well-earned money directly back into the community by buying from beauty brands that are run by queer people, that hire and support queer people, and that look after the interests of queer people.
“Many of us within the queer community have a complicated history with make-up,” says We Are Fluide co-founder Jessica Giancarlo. “Perhaps we felt obligated to wear it or didn’t have the permission to wear it or maybe couldn’t wear it in a way that felt authentic to us. We Are Fluide says, ‘Fuck that.’”
Dedicated to inclusivity and diversity, the make-up brand’s goal is to evolve the mainstream conception of beauty and give space to underrepresented faces and voices. We Are Fluide’s products pay homage to queer history, its campaigns have featured the likes of gender non-conforming writer Jacob Tobia, activist Sebastian Rosemarie, and drag kid Desmond Is Amazing, and it regularly donates products to various events and fundraisers supporting LGBTQ+ organisations such as Callen-Lorde and the True Colors Fund.
Noto Botanics was born from make-up artist Gloria Noto feeling alienated by the wellness and cosmetics industry which wasn’t representative of herself as a queer woman or the people she saw around her. “It just felt extremely privileged to me,” she told Dazed Beauty . “I wasn't seeing any inclusivity, you never saw people of colour, you never saw queer identities. And I thought, ‘where is that representation and also where is the inclusivity in the prices?’”
Committed to sustainability, inclusivity, and giving back, Noto Botanics offers a full-body range of vegan, cruelty free and ethically sourced cosmetics that celebrate and champion genderfluid self-expression. The brand’s popular ‘Agender Oil’ raises money year-round for organisations like Planned Parenthood, ACLU, LGBT Youth Center. Proceeds are currently going towards the Okra Project, a collective that seeks to address the global crisis faced by Black Trans people.
Celebrity hairstylist Vernon Francois has worked with everyone from Serena Williams and Willow Smith to Elaine Welteroth and Ava DuVernay. His namesake haircare brand champions the versatility of textured hair and his products use the highest quality, Fair Trade, organic, and ethically harvested oils.
Francois’s mission is to educate people about their hair’s texture, giving them the right tools and knowledge to embrace their hair journey as he spreads the message that beauty is also for those with kinks, coils, and curls. “We have to stop putting out beautiful hair texture in negative connotations,” he says. “We have to stop talking about it in a negative way, we have to start embracing what we have.”
Sustainable plant-based glitter brand BioGlitz was founded in 2015 after friends and glitter-lovers Saba Gray and Rebecca Richards discovered the environmental harm caused by traditional micro-plastic glitter. Formed from hardwoods and FSC-certified eucalyptus cellulose, and coloured with cosmetic pigments, BioGlitz’s biodegradable glitter is the perfect answer for those who want to shine responsibly.
“We see the power and inclusivity of glitter, how it subverts traditional beauty standards and blurs binary gender lines,” the brand told Dazed Beauty. “With BioGlitz as our armour, we take up space, reject conformity, and choose to radically love ourselves and each other, while doing no harm to our planet.”
Founded by novelist and community organiser Tanaïs, make-up and fragrance brand Hi Wildflower combines natural ingredients with Ayurvedic knowledge and boasts biodegradable packaging, luxurious scents, and rich colours. As a queer Bangladeshi woman, Tanaïs’s work is intersectional, inclusive, and feminist, and they bring that ethos into every aspect of their brand – from the models they cast to working with formerly incarcerated women to create scents based on their stories.
Since its inception, Hi Wildflower has supported organizations like Girls Write Now, Arte and Resistance Education, Black Lives Matter, and Free.
One of the first-ever fully crowd-sourced beauty brands, Volition Beauty allows anyone to submit their product ideas. If your idea is accepted, you work with the company to further develop the concept which is then voted on by the community. The ideas that get the most votes are then created by the brand with a clean, cruelty-free formula and sold at retailers like Sephora and Cult Beauty.