The onslaught of brands supporting LGBTQ equality is continues to grow; now Asos is joining the rapidly expanding list.
The London-based retailer is looking to cash in on inclusivity, with a unisex collection designed in partnership with the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation — the non-profit’s first product partnership with a fashion brand. While using social issues to profit is nothing new — companies like Adidas and Urban Outfitters have long sold products and launched campaigns advocating for certain politicians or causes — the presidential election has created more impetus for brands to speak out more as resistance becomes en vogue. Companies like Milk have made pointed statements with the help of products in recent months, while other new brands have emerged with social issues at the core of its founding, like The Lipstick Lobby.
For Asos, inclusivity over the past year has been reflected through its concerted push to design for a more diverse range of shoppers, including the oft-overlooked plus-size men’s market. Through its partnership with GLAAD, Asos is now demonstrating its support for LGBTQ rights through a streetwear-inspired collection launched on Friday. The collection includes eight gender-neutral pieces that incorporate the ampersand symbol, which GLAAD has adopted as part of its “Together” campaign. A portion of the proceeds from the apparel, which ranges in price from a $13 tote to a $48 hoodie, will go to GLAAD.
“So many brands, including ours, have a loyal global reach, [with customers] who listen to and pay attention to what our values are. It’s non-negotiable that we make a stand for what we believe in, so our customers feel supported and make their own decisions,” said James Lawrence, head of menswear design at Asos.
Looks from the Together collection by Asos
Asos last month reported an annual revenue growth of 33 percent to $2.5 billion, following growth of 26 percent in 2016. Ultimately, designing for a wider demographic of shoppers, paired with a push into optimizing and enhancing its mobile app, has helped drive shoppers to the company.
GLAAD, which monitors and fights discrimination in media and entertainment, launched the Together movement in February, shortly after the inauguration of President Trump. The campaign was a response to early policy decisions regarding immigrants and the military that targeted Muslim Americans and the transgender community. Together includes a digital pledge for equality, events, templates for advocating on social media, resources for making signs for rallies and protests, and information on donations and partnerships. “People like expressing themselves through what they wear. Fashion is essentially all about making a statement and showing people who you are and what you stand for,” said Anthony Ramos, a spokesman for GLAAD.