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Choose Activism Over Rainbow Capitalism

This year, in many ways, Pride Month resembled a return to our pre-pandemic level of celebration – and then some.

Cities across the globe held impassioned Pride parades, marches, and festivals honoring the triumphs, the trailblazing, the contributions, and at times, the heartbreaking plight of LGBTQIA+ icons.

World leaders, the media, celebrities, and social influencers commemorated the Pride movement’s evolution from its original catalyst – the Stonewall Riots on June 28, 1969.

And there seemed to be renewed mainstream passion for Pride this year from many camps as we worked together to raise awareness for equality for everyone and the freedom to be your authentic, true self.

But as much as this month was a beautiful and inspiring recognition of necessary social justice, there was a rise in something else, too. And it felt (and still feels) less authentic in our fight for equality and inclusivity.

Rainbow capitalism.

What is Rainbow capitalism? How can you spot it? Most importantly, how can you be a part of the solution instead of the problem? Read on to find out!

The Rise of Rainbow Capitalism Among Retailers

Like greenwashing, rainbow capitalism – also called pink capitalism, rainbow washing, or pinkwashing -- is essentially when brands commodify products related to LGBTQIA+ culture, largely using Pride symbols within their marketing initiatives.

This newish practice can really seem like it’s done in a wholesome spirit of solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ community.

And in some cases, it is.

Over the past month, we saw lots of examples of rainbow capitalism among well-known brands.

Target rolled out its line of Pride merchandise – consisting of rainbow-themed clothing and jewelry to home goods and self-care products. Lego introduced a special Pride-themed Lego set. Fossil created rainbow flag watches. Adidas introduced Pride-themed sneakers. Bath & Body Works stocked its new “Love Always Wins” Pride-themed line of body products.

The list goes on.

Many of these brands also gave millions to nonprofits furthering the fight for LGBTQIA+ equality and pushing for more positive representation of the community.

Donations aside though, without meaningful action taken inside of these companies to create more inclusive, diverse, and gender-fluid environments, one might question their pinkwashing’s sincerity and purpose beyond generating a profit or a tax break.

Our Values and Commitment to Inclusivity

At Phoenix Design Group -- as important as our commitment to creating sustainable, responsible, and ethically made jewellery -- is our commitment to an inclusive, diverse environment welcoming to all. We take action not just through our financial support of LGBTQIA+ social justice organisations but in the way we run our business.

We’ve created and fostered an inclusive environment where our employees, partners, sellers, suppliers, clients, and friends know they can come as they are and be welcomed and celebrated as they are. Whether gay, lesbian, cisgender, bisexual, transgender, non-binary, transitioning, questioning -- it doesn’t matter -- we value our people. We recognise them for who they are, the ideas they have, and the value they bring to our business and to the world.

We’re committed to creating an environment that celebrates -- not fears or overlooks -- gender neutrality and fluidity. And we try to drive this home through the gender neutrality of our sustainably made jewellery. Our pieces are designed to be worn and treasured by all, no matter your gender, gender identity, or non-binary status. It’s just the way we see the world.

As Pride Month 2021 comes to a close, it’s our everlasting goal as a company to help facilitate and further positive LGBTQIA+ representation in our community and to never stop our work toward equality for all.

Do Your Research as a Consumer, Seller, and Supplier

Rainbow capitalism has its place, when done with valuable action within and outside the halls of brands. We encourage you to delve deeper to understand a company’s commitment to furthering equality. Do this during those times you’re a consumer choosing a product or when representing your business and choosing a partner that shares a common goal.

When you see rainbow capitalism anytime, look deeper into a brand’s activism in support of LGBTQIA+ equality, positive representation, and inclusivity. Is the brand taking meaningful action in other ways - inside its ranks - beyond marketing initiatives and donations? Ask questions about company culture and the company’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity. Ask about its commitment to bringing LGBTQIA+ employees and partners into leadership roles and into the web of their ongoing evolution.

If we’re all more intentional in researching and choosing who we do business with and how we run our businesses, we have every chance of creating lasting change that aligns with all of our values.

Research Us and Work With Us

As a jewellery manufacturer, we are committed to ethical and sustainable manufacturing of our jewellery collections. We’re also committed to inclusivity, diversity, the freedom to be ourselves, and equality for all within our own ranks and furthering these initiatives throughout the world. We’d love to help take your brand to the next level of social responsibility.

Let’s work together. Contact us here on our website or give us a call at +66 210 72046.

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