Brand Partnerships: Authenticity when supporting the LGBTQ+ community

Celebrating Pride within Brand Partnerships, the big picture

At Canoe, we are well versed in helping our brands engage and connect authentically with the LGBTQ+ community. Brands seem to have come a long way in recent years to understand how to engage with the Pride movement meaningfully.

This month we showcased the exciting project we have been working on with Dickies. To celebrate the LGBTQ+ community, in which Dickies are embracing what makes us unique. Uniqueness can feel like a special and consequential marker — like an autograph or signature. Dickies partnered with creative makers to design and sign our Pride collection with “Uniquely Yours”.


Dickies have worked hard to strike an authentic connection with the LGBTQ+ community. In this project for Pride 2021, the Canoe Creative, Social, Production and PR team worked alongside London-based artist Rene Matić to bring together a campaign that celebrates lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities.

The project celebrates creative makers and interweaves their skills with Dickies product to create unique and collectable pieces. But, it takes more than commercial partnership to earn credibility in the cause space, Dickies know that they need to strive hard to champion inclusivity. To honour the LGBTQ+ community, Dickies has donated to The Trevor Project. The Trevor Project provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ+ young people who face discrimination at work, school, and society.

Aligning with an LGBTQ+ charity for any Pride activation is a holistic path to take. However, insight from a recent GWI survey shows that activating during the Pride window is just one piece of the CSR marketing puzzle. The research shows the LGBTQ+ community over-index on a broad range of CSR topics compared to the average US consumer. Read the full GWI insight piece here 

“What this insight tells us is that the LGBTQ+ community is so diverse that perhaps the best way to align with their values has nothing to do with gay or transgender issues at all. A good deal of this trust can be regained through CSR initiatives that have very little to do with gay or transgender topics, as we’ve seen that social responsibility and sustainability are just as important as diversity and inclusion to the LGBTQ+ community.”

“They’re united in their expectations that brands promote issues like diversity, inclusion, social responsibility and eco-friendliness, and just like their response to performative LGBTQ+ support, this group is very adamant that brands be genuine in their CSR initiatives.”

 There is a lot to be said for brands moving toward integrating CSR activity with marketing campaigns. Dickies are ahead of the curve on this one. CMO of Dickies, Kathy Hines has spoken about how enabling brands to become better and more compassionate versions of themselves can positively impact both globally and personally. You can hear more on that in this Future of Fashion Business Episode. We’ve seen this sentiment come to life for Dickies with this recent Pride campaign, the Black History Month celebration and Dickies’ strong support of BLM and #StopAsianHate causes.

Here’s to more integration of CSR and Marketing campaigns and more compassion along the way! 

To discover how you can build better and stronger brand partnerships get in contact today – CLICK HERE

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