Rainbow Washing: How Insincere Branding Tarnishes Pride And Similar Celebrations Of Communities

Brands will likely get in on the action if a holiday or point of remembrance is coming up.

Corporate holiday endeavors often focus on profit, not the people and cultures being celebrated. June's Pride has become a prime example as companies target the community's buying power of approximately $917 billion in 2019.

To put it lightly, mistakes have been made over the years. Walmart Inc's (NYSE: WMT) recent foray into Juneteenth ice cream represents an example of how branding and cultural celebrations go wrong.

Rainbow washing, sometimes known as pinkwashing or rainbow retail, is a long-running critical concern. The practice uses LGBTQ imagery and themes for profit without donating funds or additional support during June or any time otherwise. Similar actions can be found during Black History Month and other days, weeks or months focused on specific groups.

With long-running concerns that Pride is turning into a branded holiday, cannabis insiders shared how pot companies can be allies while boosting their brands.

What Is Rainbow Washing?

Rainbow washing comes in various forms.

The most common example is when a brand changes its logo to a rainbow for the month. Another regular occurrence finds companies rolling out Pride products, pocketing all earnings from LGBTQ-focused sales without offering support to organizations or efforts.

Lex Corwin, CEO and founder of Stone Road said rainbow washing also includes false depictions of minority-owned brands. He finding various cannabis brands claiming to be queer-owned on platforms like Nabis and Eaze without having LGBTQ leadership.

Corwin commends companies for wanting to support but feels they're incorrectly meeting the movement.

At the same time, he calls the change a shift in corporate culture. "It used to be where companies didn't give a …

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