A lot happens in the month of June. Halfway into the year and when the summer solstice occurs, this is a time of reflection, resetting one’s goals, and gearing up for the upcoming festive season. But there’s one more reason why this is a significant month around the world – It’s Pride month.
Pride month originated in the United States and is now a global celebration to commemorate the struggles of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community for equality, justice, and rights.
Whether or not you’re from the community, being an ally to the cause of LGBTQ+ awareness doesn’t take much. All you need is the willingness to encourage and be supportive. And what can be a better way to support the community than to endorse their work?
According to studies, the LGBTQ community is particularly eco-friendly and supportive of environmental sustainability. It has been reported that 55% of LGBTQ+ adults are concerned about environmental issues and 48% factor in the environment while shopping!
Several gay and lesbian rights activists believe that this mindset comes from the community’s own struggles for their civil rights. Having witnessed apathy and disregard for their own existence translates into kindness towards the planet that comes from a place of empathy. Besides, the community is more progressive and forward-thinking as compared to conventional, conservative thinkers. This has made them more open to grasping and understanding the issues of climate change.
Having witnessed apathy and disregard for their own existence translates into kindness towards the planet that comes from a place of empathy.
This is probably why today, both in India and the world over, many members of the community have opted to start their own planet-positive businesses.
Let’s take a look at some of the noteworthy small businesses run by the queer community of India. These homegrown businesses aren’t just here to earn, but to make a meaningful change, doing their bit for a sustainable future.
Founded by Moazzam Reza, Firdous Organic is a go-to brand for your fix of organic skincare, soaps, and candles. Created using eco-friendly, natural ingredients like Avocado, cinnamon & more, all their products are handcrafted and non-toxic.
We love their paraffin-free candles made in 100% soy wax!
You can explore their range on cresence.in or visit their Instagram page here.
Run by Mrinalini Deshprabhu and Jennifer Parras from Panjim, Goa, The Nature Masons is a personal care brand that uses sustainable and scientific methods, and natural ingredients in its formulations.
They also have a return policy for their empty containers. Packaged in reusable, aluminium tins, you can either reuse them or send them back to the brand for recycling.
We especially love the detailed information on each product ingredient and the helpful FAQs. Check out their website to know more.
Source: The Nature Masons
Co-founded by Syed and Utkarsh, Cosmic Jalebi re-imagines your average cloth tote bag and turns it into something so striking and unique, that it’ll make heads turn! Printed with sassy one-liners and bright art, each tote bag they create is also gender-less.
Reusable cloth tote bags are an essential item in the tool kit of every eco-conscious person, and Cosmic Jalebi bags make a statement that is as inclusive as it is sustainable!
Check out the brand page here!
Source: Cosmic Jalebi
If you love vegan food, Angelo Vegan Cheese is just the place to satisfy your cheese cravings.
Run by Aditya Angelo Fernandes, this Bangalore-based business has a delectable range of artisanal vegan cheeses that will leave you asking for more! They deliver in a day’s time within Bangalore. We are rooting for them to start shipping to other places soon!
PS – Here’s some exciting trivia for you. Aditya Angelo is also responsible for creating India’s first vegan mozzarella!
Check out their Instagram page here!
Run by 18-year-old Shrishti Jalan, this business is about slow fashion that makes tie and dye t-shirts from 100% cotton! Not only are the products hand-dyed, but they are also customised and shipped pan-India.
If comfy, old-school clothing is your vibe, their range of hand-dyed cloth totes, t-shirts, and more are just what you need!
Check out their Instagram here!
Source: The Turquoise Tea Cup
Round 2 by Erica might be one of the most eye-catching Instagram stores you’ll find!
This brand started as a way of upcycling old clothes, but has now evolved into a clothing and accessories brand of eco-friendly, hand-made products. Erica has a lovely range of bright, tie-and-dye clothing, crystals and more, at affordable prices.
What’s more, they claim to use eco-friendly packaging and Erica even offers tie-and-dye workshops ever so often!
Look up their store on Instagram if you’d like to support this small business!
Ctrl+P is a purpose-driven lifestyle brand that takes prides in its ethical and sustainable collections. From eco-friendly alternatives to every day objects to slow produced t-shirts and even Pride-focused merchandise, they have a range of interesting, quirky products that come in biodegradable packaging.
And did we say that we think their journals, notebooks and button badges are most creative!
You can either shop from their website directly or check out their Instagram page!
Strawbabie, which in their own words is “a utopia for everything cute and sustainable”, was borne out of the founder, Sukku’s personal beliefs in sustainability and slow fashion.
She started by creating her own jewellery, which has now turned into a handmade jewellery venture. They create made-to-order pieces, delivered to you in 100% compostable packaging! If you like what they do, you can even support Sukku’s animal charities.
Check out the Instagram store here!
Supporting any enterprise or startup is not just about helping the entrepreneur earn a living, it is also about showing support. And when it comes to a minority or a marginalised community, it is also about solidarity and allyship.
In India, the LGBTQ+ community has had a long and arduous struggle battling prejudices in the society and within families, and even state laws. It has to strive hard to be known, accepted and respected, and solidarity goes a long way in helping them cope with the challenges.
We rise by raising each other. By endorsing businesses that are local, eco-friendly and queer-led, we support environmental sustainability that is inclusive and just. And Pride month is a good time to make a start!