H&M Has Launched Its First Ever Pride Collection. But Some Items Are Made In Countries Where Being Gay Is Illegal
Retailers ranging from Converse to Disney have released a variety of LGBTQ-themed items in celebration of Pride Month this month.
But while companies may sell shirts emblazoned with rainbows or the words “love is love” on them, the shirts themselves are often produced in countries where homosexuality is illegal or widely persecuted.
H&M made waves in late May when it launched its first ever Pride collection, featuring a range of items with rainbows and pro-LGBTQ+ phrases. The collection, intended to “celebrate that everyone should be free to love who they want as loud as they want,” promised that 10% of its sale proceeds would be donated to the UN Free & Equal campaign. The campaign aims to promote equal rights and fair treatment of all individuals around the world.
But the merchandise in the collection was produced in China, Turkey, Bangladesh, and India, according to a report from The New York Times. In both India and Bangladesh, homosexuality is criminalized. In response to the Times, an H&M representative explained that the company has produced their products in these countries “for a long time,” and this collection in particular is “made by suppliers we have worked with for many years.”
H&M isn’t the only retailer that has come under fire for the contrast between the messages of its merchandise and the locations where the merchandise is manufactured. British retailer Primark makes some of its merchandise in Myanmar, a country where homosexuality is also illegal and punishable with time in jail.
While not perfect, a number of retailers (including H&M) are working toward giving back to the LGBTQ+ community through the sale of their Pride items. Here’s a list of brands that are giving back this Pride month—a number of which are donating 100% of their proceeds to pro-LGBTQ+ organizations.
H&M did not immediately respond to Fortune‘s request for comment.