As Pride Month draws to a close and big fashion names begin to drain the rainbow colour from their logos, LGBTQIA+ owned brands across the country continue to effect change and support the community from the ground up.
We’re all becoming more savvy to “rainbow washing” when we see it, so one obvious way to support LGBTQIA+ folk, and ensure your allyship extends year round, is to spend your money with queer brands, instead of lining the pockets of those riding the bandwagon. Here are a few local LGBTQIA+ owned brands we love!
Peppermint fave Bobbi Lockyer – a Ngarluma, Kariyarra, Nyulnyul and Yawuru social justice campaigner who uses her platform as an artist, designer and photographer to raise awareness of social and Indigenous issues, including fighting for women and LGBTQIA+ rights – recently launched her label Gantharri. Meaning “Queen Bee” and “Grandmother” in Ngarluma language, Gantharri is an inclusive brand weaving together the threads of culture, Country and community.
Double Rainbouu is a cult Aussie brand – designed for “beach baes and pool punks” – that flips that traditional Hawaiian shirt on its pineapple. The label eschews gendered clothing to create a unisex line “because the beach in Australia is such a huge aspect of everyone’s lives, it doesn’t just mean one thing… Double Rainbouu aims to reflect all of them, with a cheeky grin”.
After losing her job during Melbourne’s hard lockdown, Eleanor Hutchison turned her boredom into a fashion project and began to sell pieces to friends and family. Self-described as “an iso project that got way outta hand”, Warmcore Clothing’s focus on inclusivity shines just as bright as its punchy, colour-block designs.
Established in early 2017 by the unapologetically queer, trans/non-binary artist Luka Wild, ProudKind creates an ever-growing range of clothing and accessories that celebrate the LGBTIQA+ community and allies “with a sprinkle of glitter and feminism, of course”.
Training under iconic Australian labels Romance Was Born and Neo Dia, Erik Yvon launched his eponymous label in 2017 with a focus on sustainable and ethical production. Redefining outdated perceptions of the gender binary, his bold, transeasonal pieces are a dynamic fusion of colour, shape and texture – drawing inspiration from art, his everyday surroundings and origins in the island of Mauritius.
Rising Violet Press
Rising Violet Press is a queer-owned stationery and apparel business based in Melbourne. It was founded in late 2019 when owner and designer Bonnie decided to expand their greeting card business into an inclusive, one-stop shop for all things LGBTQIA+, pop culture and feminism!
Openly bisexual Aussie legend Abbie Chatfield recently launched her own clothing label Verbose. The limited, five-piece collection, ranges in sizes from 6–26, and all items are shot on six different models ranging in these sizes. “Let’s be real, there’s nothing more frustrating than spotting a garment you love – only to find it represented on a model with a completely different frame to you,” the website reads. “Online shopping shouldn’t be a conundrum… And everybody deserves to feel at ease at checkout.” Yassss Abbie!
The modern, non-binary streetwear of Genkstasy is born from creative director Evie Willsteed’s 15 years of sewing experience, and is all ethically and sustainably created in their 100% solar-powered studio in Northern New South Wales. Removing gender, not just as part of their design philosophy, but also in the way that their garments are expressed and communicated, Evie says it’s all “about finding a balance between the many facets of ourselves that create a whole”.