Pride Month : Queer-run Businesses

type - features
category - gender
sector - diversity & inclusion
In the final installment in our series of blog posts celebrating Pride month, we highlight independent queer-run and owned businesses.

Big brands have been called out recently on social media for tokenistic or belittling Pride campaigns. These are often a smoke screen hiding their inadequate diversity and inclusion strategies.

Here are five of our favourite proud queer businesses producing great products while furthering LGBTQIA+ communities.

Published by:

27 June 2022

Author: Thomas Rees

Image: Photo by Barcelos_fotos


Photo by Greta Hoffman


Inspired by their travels around America, east London-based couple Dean Smith and Steve Cook have developed a premium brand of hot sauces. These include Sweet Heat, Mellow Yellow and Hot Stuff Pride Special, all packaged in bottles that feature the couple’s French bulldog. Made in Walthamstow, London E17, all products are vegan, fermented and community-sourced. Click here to find out more.


Dr Botanicals

This self-proclaimed loud and proud LGBTQIA+ owned business produces a range of cute cruelty-free beauty products. In addition, it has pledged to use only eco-friendly packaging by 2023 and be completely carbon-neutral by 2025. Dr Botanicals champions diversity and supports movements for equality such as Black Lives Matter, True Colors Fund and Stonewall. Check out its Pride limited-edition product here.

‘It takes no money to respect the individual.’

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Photo by Flávio Santos

Josh McKenna

Josh identifies as a queer British illustrator and artist. He is responsible for one of the most globally shared Instagram icons, the sassy-gentleman-in-red-high-heels-doing-a-back-bend-hand-flick. He describes his work as ‘tongue-in-cheek, bold, diverse and all-inclusive (as it should be in 2022)’. The illustrator has worked with some amazing brands including Apple, Facebook, Instagram, Converse, Sydney Mardi Gras and Soho House to name a few! His website offers a series of fun and cheeky prints. Find out more here.


Flesh Festival

Taking place in woodland on the outskirts of London, Flesh is the UK’s first LGBTQ+ electronic music and camping festival. With a line-up that features a majority of female, trans+, non-binary and queer artists, when it took place in May 2022, the event offered an alternative to the heteronormative and male-dominated music festival sector.

Open to all, Flesh bills itself as a space for LGBTQ+ individuals to unite with friends and allies. Heralding change in the live music industry, the two-day programme included 100% under-represented artists, with 90% of the line-up showcasing women, trans+ and non-binary artists. There were also food stalls, pop-up shops and spaces that combine relaxation, play and educational workshops. Click here to follow them on Instagram. 


Feel Good Club

On a mission to make you feel good, wives Aimie and Kiera launched the Feel Good Club in 2016 to help support those with mental health issues, with a focus on self-care. Based in Manchester, UK, the brand includes a series of lifestyle products, from clothing to prints and candles. More recently, Feel Good Club expanded to include a coffee shop and bar in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. The aim of the space is to bring a community together while showcasing local artists and independent shops as well as workshops and panel talks – a space to feel good! Explore more here.

‘You can focus on things that are barriers or you can focus on redefining the problem.’

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This article is part of our D&I series at The Future Laboratory. Explore the full series on our blog and discover what steps we are taking to make a better tomorrow happen.

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