Target is the latest brand to commemorate Pride Month with the launch of rainbow-colored merchandise – following in the footsteps of adidas Originals – who last week revealed a new range of rainbow-splashed footwear.
However, this is definitely not the first time that Target has stood up to proclaim its embracing of diversity and inclusion.
Besides commemorating previous Pride seasons, earlier this year it posted an image of its logo interlocked with a rainbow on its social media channels at a time when Indiana and other states were considering religious freedom bills.
It was accompanied by a message saying that ‘Everyone deserves to feel like they belong. And you’ll always be accepted, respected and welcomed here.’
The new merchandise has also been accompanied by a #TakePride video campaign in which the company makes its support of the LGBT community unequivocal.
In a statement to launch the campaign, the company said:
‘Let us be clear: to Target, pride doesn’t just start and end in June, it is a year-round commitment. And this year, we’re going all out, supporting Pride parades, events and merchandise — all grounded by one simple but powerful manifesto:
The manifesto video is below:
‘We’re making our message loud and clear: Target proudly stands with the LGBT community, both as a team member and team player through all that we do – from our volunteer efforts to our long-standing partnerships with groups like Family Equality Council and Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network [GLSEN], to the very products we carry in our stores and online,’ said Laysha Ward, executive vice president and chief corporate social responsibility officer, Target.
Target recently partnered with GLSEN to produce a mini-documentary highlighting the work of students, educators and volunteers who have improved the climate in schools for LGBT youth.
According to Target, the new merchandise includes ‘everything you and your family need to show and celebrate pride this year.’ It includes T-shirts, vests, shorts, iPhone covers, headphones, phone chargers, among others items.
Target has had run into controversy in the past with regard to LGBTI rights. In 2010, it was widely criticized when it was discovered that it had made campaign contributions to an anti-gay politician – prompting a backlash from gay customers and calls for boycotts.
However, the corporation seems to have learned a lesson from that episode, and since that time, it has spoken out in support of same-sex marriage and launched other initiatives to demonstrate its support of LGBTI issues – including a same-sex registry advert and greetings cards for same-sex newlyweds.
Target, which is headquartered in Minneapolis, scored the top mark of 100 in the Human Right Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index for the past three years running.
More examples of its new range of merchandise can be seen below.