One thing that goes through the minds of many members of the LBGTQ+ community before making a purchase is whether or not the retailer or designer is an ally. There is little that is as disheartening as finding out that the fashion designer or retailer you have been supporting for years harbors homophobic or anti-trans sentiments. So, before doing a clothing haul or recommending anything new to friends, having confirmation that you are aligning yourself with a friend of the community is important. Here is how you can structure your next clothing haul to accomplish just that, accurately and succinctly.

Which Magazines and Publications Are They Featured In? 

An easy way to tell if a company is really passionate about socially conscious causes involves their advertising policies. For example, many designers will pay for advertisements in the magazines and publications that their customers are most likely to read. Additionally, some designers and retailers will agree to interviews in publications that believe in their history and message. For example, Burberry’s clothing from SSENSE is totally on trend this year. You can also view all of their offerings in their bi-annually released magazine. SSENSE also stock brands like Reebok and Nike, who donate a percentage of their sales to organizations that are advocating for and advancing the LGBTQ+ community. 

Has the Designer or Retailer Taken a Public Stand?

It can consist of a donation, a statement, or even a hashtag. The fact of the matter is that members of the fashion community are becoming more vocal and speaking out when they see injustice. It is no longer unheard of for supermodels to speak out when they face discrimination. Top fashion designers are marching with the LGBTQ+ in solidarity, and ending professional relationships with companies who don’t. If you are conscious minded, these are the brands that you should be buying from during your next clothing haul.

Just How Conscious is Conscious?

Sometimes, things truly are strictly business. Large companies like Chanel or even Bloomingdale’s are generally in a good position to stand against racism, police brutality, homophobia and transphobia, and for the preservation of the environment without hearing a peep. A retailer that comes out and supports the LBGTQ+ community during pride month is a great thing. At the same time, however, companies are located globally, and some socially conscious sentiments do not have support worldwide. A fashion designer hailing from a more conservative country, such as Spain, might have a hard time at home if they were to come out about police brutality. You just have to decide how socially conscious, aware, and outspoken you need your fashion designers and retailers to be.

Various countries are banning the sale of single use plastic products, such as shopping bags, and fashion designers have already jump into action, offering some very cute alternatives. Retailers have taken a stand against gender discrimination, installing unisex changing rooms and bathrooms to make their customers feel more comfortable about trying on clothes. There are many solutions to the world’s social problems, and you are allowed to patronize the companies that are making themselves a part of the solution.