One of the first major companies to announce a new range of Pride-related merchandise for this year’s Pride season is jeans company Levi Strauss & Co.
The San Francisco-headquartered organization has teamed up with the Harvey Milk Foundation to produce a range of gender-neutral T-shirts, tank tops and shorts. The shorts feature a rainbow watch pocket.
The range also includes a denim jacket emblazoned with the Milk quotation ‘Hope will never be silent’ and rainbow embellishments, and an evergreen Pride T-shirt and hat featuring the Levi’s rainbow batwing.
A portion of proceeds from the sale of the items will go to the Foundation.
‘The Levi’s x Harvey Milk Foundation Pride 2016 collection is the physical representation of Levi’s belief in equality for all people while continuing the legacy of one outspoken, courageous and pioneering individual whose inspiring example will never be forgotten,’ said a company spokesperson.
Harvey Milk was the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in US history. He joined the Board of Supervisors in San Francisco in 1977 but was assassinated whilst in office in 1978.
‘Harvey was a true leader, whose passion was palpable and has expanded the decades since his untimely assassination,’ said Grant Barth, chief merchandising officer at Levi Strauss & Co.
‘He brought not only the LGBTQ community forward, but he fought for the visibility of all minorities.’
The collection has the support of Stuart Milk, nephew of Harvey and founder of the Harvey Milk Foundation.
‘It is a simple message, marked by dignity and respect, that we embrace all without exception, and keep alive Uncle Harvey’s promise of equality for all people, everywhere.’
This is the third time that Levi Strauss has produced a Pride collection. The Fortune1000 company has consistently scored the top mark of 100 on the HRC Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index – a ranking of LGBTI-friendly US businesses.
Major companies are increasingly commemorating Pride season. In 2015, adidas, Nike and Target all produced Pride collections, while Lush made headlines with its #GayIsOK soap and social media campaign.