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Top 6 LGBTQ+ Sustainable Shops to Support

June is the time we celebrate Pride - so why not combine Pride and our favorite topic here at Well-Made World? That is right! It is time we highlight 5 of our best pick LGBTQ+ Sustainable businesses that we think deserve recognition this year. Plus, they make great sustainable gifts for anyone, so if you like them, why not support them year-round?

Al Sandimirova, Automic Gold's founder, has an inspiring story. Al started making jewelry to make money in the United States after fleeing their home country, which is less tolerant for LGBTQ+ members. They use a model of different races, gender identities, and sizes - and they never photoshop their photographs! I think Al sets an example of what it means to be inclusive. Automic Gold makes creative uni-sex jewelry from reclaimed gold, while the customer will receive recyclable packaging when they purchase their new treasure. So while a good pair of earrings from a named jewelry brand would cost you $500 and perhaps some discount is throw in to make the price more appealing, Automic Gold will give you a much more affordable and fair price for their goods.

Are you looking for an ethically made product that is created from local raw material Pride flags to celebrate your identity? Then, pride Flag SD is what you need. The proudly gay-owned American company makes flags for all gender and orientation expressions. If you need any other banners, you can order a custom one as well. Also, while the company is not repurposing threads or use deadstock fabrics for their flags, your item will come in eco-friendly packaging.

A candle company was born in 2016 to gay couple Matthew Herman and David Kien. The founders have a genius idea to create something that embodies femininity and masculinity without overtly targeting a specific gender. This way, people can define their own identity freely. Like the previous two companies, Boy Smells are proudly American. The candles are local as they are modeled and developed in Los Angeles. All their products use natural oils, coconut wax, and beeswax that provide a unique and calming fragrance with natural goodness. Not to mention, the candles you purchase will come in a reusable glass vessel!

If you write everywhere like me, you might appreciate my next pick. I introduce Ladyfingers Letterpress, a company that sells stationeries and gifts. A company-owned and operated by LGBTQ+ members. Ladyfingers Letterpress started when a lesbian couple Arley Torsone and Morgan Calderini, started noticing that the wedding invitations that they made for their guests start gaining popularity. So they started making more of them, submitted some of their cards for competitions. They won a lot of times! You will not be surprised when you see their witty cards! Everything they sell in their shop - including the company's infamous greeting cards, is made using locally sourced material. Additionally, Ladyfingers Letterpress creates their stationeries with sustainability in mind.

I love plants, so this shop is a must mention. I present ARIUM, LGBTQ+, Latinx, and vegan-owned business that sells flora while offering plant installation and maintenance. Established in 2017, ARIUM supports small creative businesses with two goals in mind: to support the creative flow of the community and reduce imports. Besides the economic and social sustainability, by sourcing local potteries, they help reduce CO2 emissions that get transported by moving the goods through various means from a great distance to get to their destination. Additionally, they sell plants - the oxygen producer on our planet that allows us to breathe nicely. Need I say more regarding their sustainable business?

Fun fact, do you know that a hug produces serotonin, a neurotransmitter that gives you a good feeling? Alas, COVID makes it hard for us to hug anyone. And some people like myself, I struggle to accept hugs. Thankfully, Suay, a queer-owned business, has a solution for us - a body pillow made of deadstock linen with low-impact dyes and a US-made zipper and inserts. Using deadstock linen to create new products is genius because it saves a hefty amount of fabrics from being thrown out into landfills. Besides body pillows, Suay also creates deadstock linen quilt sets, remade shirts, and oven mittens. So hey, if body pillow is not for you - just saying, you have options.

Hopefully, by shining a light on their existence, we can support our LGBTQ peers and help LGBTQ-owned businesses prosper. So many LGBTQ-owned businesses are conscious about activism, fair trade, and eco-friendly businesses - the more reason for us to support them. You know what they say, when business thrives, the local economy grows with it.

Happy Pride from all of us at Well-Made World! Remember to shop locally. Celebrate Pride this year by staying safe while supporting LGBTQ-owned businesses not just today or the rest of this month - but become lifelong allies.

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