Manchester-based, gender-neutral fashion brand, Kontroversial, is using this Black Friday not to spike sales but to raise money for a charity close to its heart.
The clothing brand is controversially asking shoppers to pay full price for items during Black Friday and donating 20% of all sales to the LGBTQI+ charity, Rainbow Mind.
Rainbow Mind is a mental health service specifically for individuals within this minority community across Greater Manchester and London.
Research carried out by the charity recently revealed that 26.9% of LGBTQI+ individuals feel anxious or embarrassed when trying to access mental health support. And the number rises to 30% for those who are transgender and 33% for those who identify as non-binary].
These anxieties are often grounded in the very real discrimination that people in this community face, as 13% report experiencing unfair treatment by healthcare staff due to their gender identity or sexual orientation.
The founders of Kontroversial are extremely passionate about issues surrounding identity, which is why they’re asking customers to pay in full this Black Friday, to support the charity’s crucial work.
The fashion brand aims to disrupt all traditional gender expectations, while working to create a society where everyone can live as their most authentic selves.
In addition to promote gender neutrality and freedom of self-expression, the clothing brand also has a keen eye on sustainability.
Each item of clothing is hand-crafted and produced in Manchester in small-run batches to create limited edition, well-made pieces that are both trend-led and long-lasting.
Kate Friar, one of the founders of Kontroversial, says, ‘Sustainability should be at the forefront of everybody’s mind – which is something we often forget during Black Friday. Seeing how the world is impacted by human beings and our need to consume is heart-breaking, which is why we ensure our lines have as little impact on the environment as possible.
‘Our packaging is made from recycled materials, with no plastic used within our postage methods at all. And our dyed acid design method is also most sustainable – it takes colour to add colour; ensuring water is not wasted in the same way as other printing techniques.’
Kate Friar and her brother Kris launched Kontroversial with a clear vision of a more sustainable and inclusive society, where clothing is no longer gender specific.
Kate says, ‘It’s hugely important to us to make all of the pieces and lines 100% gender-neutral, appealing to men, women, the trans community and non-binary audiences.
‘Rainbow Mind’s services are incredibly important for the LGBTQI+ community right now, and it’s our honour to be able to support them in any way we can.
‘We believe that nobody should be made to feel uncomfortable, anxious, or embarrassed about being true to themselves and that the war on discrimination and rigid stereotypes is one we should all be fighting together.’
The fashion brand will soon be launching a new campaign, ‘I Am Kontroversial’, working with Manchester based influencers to tear down the expectations of gender identities in fashion.