It's Pride Month at the moment, an important time to learn about and celebrate queer culture, while recognising the challenges and discrimination that the LGBTQ+ community still face today through legislation and in our personal lives.
It is still a criminal offence to be queer in some parts of the world, not all queer people are yet able to marry the people they love, and issues of violence, harassment and related mental health concerns are higher amongst the queer community.
While this month is a wonderful time to celebrate, it's important we reflect on these issues too, and take time to help our wider communities become more accepting and inclusive. Everyone has some unlearning to do around homosexual, bisexual, transgender and other sexualities and gender identities.
Vegan Style is a proudly queer-owned business, and we felt there's no better time than this month to share a list of some of our favourite LGBTQ+, vegan brands and sanctuaries worth supporting in their mission for a kinder world!
So, without further ado...
We can't help ourselves, we're going to celebrate ourselves first! Zette is the in-house label of Vegan Style, dedicated to creating versatile, luxurious and ethical shoes for everyone.
Our shoes are made ethically across Portugal, Brazil and Spain from completely vegan and more sustainable materials. Every shoe in our collection is named after a different cat who our team has fostered and helped to rehome, with the Zette brand itself named after a cat who still lives with the Zette founders, Justin and Gav.
Our latest collection has just gone live, full of beautiful winter boots for all different moods and styles.
The first luxury menswear brand to be completely free of animals, ethically made and sustainable, Brave Gentlemen is founded by Joshua Katcher.
Joshua is a true pioneer of the ethical fashion industry, having been vegan since 1998 and changing the industry from the day he got involved. A sustainability lecturer, panel speaker, and author of Fashion Animals, Joshua's expertise are visually represented in the stunning and innovative designs of Brave Gentlemen.
All Brave Gentlemen shoes are made ethically with the use of sustainable materials like those which are recycled, EU Ecolabel certified, and technologically advanced.
This lifestyle brand was founded by graphic designer Jacky Wasserman. Made ethically and transparently in Los Angeles, the brand creates t-shirts, key-chains, prints, sweats, stickers and pins -- many of which carry messages supporting the vegan movement, and the Black Lives Matter Movement.
BEET x BEET says that 'what we eat, what we wear, how we treat animals, ourselves and others makes an impact. Using the medium as the message we hope to inspire you to plant seeds, provoke thoughts, conversations and ideas that get spread globally just by wearing our apparel.'
This brand has generously contributed to charities and organisations like Mercy for Animals, the Los Angeles LGBT Center, and Planned Parenthood.
Created and led by the wonderful and proudly queer Gloria Noto, this is a beautiful, gender-neutral, clean skincare and beauty brand.
With minimalist products packaged in more sustainable, recyclable and quality materials like glass, the brand creates multi-use products. Our favourites are the tints that look perfect on lips, cheeks and eyelids.
NOTO is dedicated to representation, inclusivity and giving back. Their journal features the stories, playlists, images and thoughts of a diverse group of people, while the brand has donated $26,000USD so far to organisations like Planned Parenthood, The Trevor Project, The Love Land Foundation, Black Mama's Matter, The Okra Project, and more.
This queer, vegan run sanctuary stands on Bunurong Country, what is now often referred to as South Gippsland, Victoria, Australia.
Big Sky is an 'intentional multi-species community', with the humans living within this community operating within an eco-feminist, consistent anti-oppression framework which has created a space that is radically welcoming, caring and ethical.
Home to other species including chickens, pigs, sheep, and cows, many of the individuals here have been rescued from misery in factory-farms, from abandonment, or from places where they were wrongly considered 'no longer useful', their individuality not valued as it should be.
Black Sheep Animal Sanctuary is a safe and sustainable space where abused, injured and neglected non-human animals are rehabilitated and re-homed.
Based at Ōtaki Forks, an hour out from Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand, the sanctuary feels that not only are the individual lives rehabilitated and cared for here special, they and their happy lives are symbols of liberation and hope.
Rats, goats, sheep, cows, rabbits, dogs, ducks, cats, roosters, miniature horses, geese and pigs are all free to live out their lives here, alongside the humans who love to spend time with them.
A place where every animal is free, Happy Hens resides on 40 acres of land situated between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
With a full time veterinarian and a skilled care team, Happy Hens takes in those animals who need urgent care, long term rehabilitation and home. Over the last six years, founder and youth activist Zoe Rosenberg and her team have cared for and rescued nearly 1,000 individuals across different species like chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, quails, cows, pigs, goats and sheep.
Most of the residents at Happy Hens have been rescued from extreme suffering and hardship -- often they have never seen the sun and sky, or touched their feet to soft, natural ground. It's for this reason that the humans at this sanctuary devote all their energy to ensuring these non-human animals never suffer again, and can live out their lives happy, healthy and free.