3 Tips to Avoid Rainbow-Washing this Pride Month

Are you a business looking to support Pride month and avoid offending your consumers? The key is providing opportunities for visibility of the LGBTQIA+ community, respecting the buying powers and social causes all in the same. Dive in to this tasty read or watch our video on 3 ways to authentically engage in LGBTQIA+ support.

What is Rainbow Washing?

Pink washing or “Rainbow Washing” is when a company or organization misrepresents their support of the LGBTQIA Community. It’s easy to get caught up labeling any product with a rainbow flag if it means more consumers. Here are some ways to protect you and your consumers from rainbow-washing.

Support local organizations through your sales or service work

Don’t sell products just to sell products. If you’re into apparel, try to make the merch have meaning. Are there local supportive brands and organizations that you could partner with to share profit and support LGBTQIA+ communities? A detail this small could be the difference between serving your patron or losing their business by rainbow-washing.

Respect the Pink Dollar

Didn’t you know the LGBTQIA+ community averages $3.7T dollars or “Pink Money” in consumerism? It’s not always clear the boundaries of cultural marketing, so to avoid rainbow-washing you can refrain from the tactic of putting a rainbow on anything during Pride month. 

This is a demographic that doesn’t take well to hollow interest or pandering. So, it’s best to avoid using the rainbow flag for profit. It is best to not market products with the pride flag without intention or an internal agenda.

The LGBTQIA+ community wholeheartedly supports and patronizes businesses that support them and advocate for them. So here are 3 tips to guide you closer to cultivating a significant relationship with and respect for the LGBTQIA+ buyer:

  1. Go Local 
  2. Realize and hone in on your specific power as an organization and determine your contribution. OutMontclair demonstrates this extremely well. 
  3. Create and maintain support of the queer community throughout the year in measurable and transparent ways, not just Pride month.

Start with some organizations we believe in:


“Hetrick-Martin Institute believes all young people, regardless of sexual orientation or identity, deserve a safe and supportive environment in which to achieve their full potential.

La Casa Pedro Pride Center/ NJCRI

“With forty-five years of mission-driven and visionary service, La Casa has an expansive service delivery model designed to meet the ever-changing social services needs embedded across the life cycle of the children, individual, and families in Newark’s under-served communities.”


“We are a foundation by and for the LGBTQ community. We raise money and fund work that makes a difference on the issues that matter in our lives, from education and violence to family acceptance and health.”


“We are dedicated to fostering community and providing support and solidarity for the LGBTQIA+ population of Montclair, NJ.”