For the past 18 months, the RCREW team has been selling LGBTQ+ bracelets through our start-up ETSY shop. Now, we’re relaunching and expanding our brand with a new website and new products with the hopes of continuing our mission of fighting for equality and social change.
This past year and a half has been a challenging time for everyone, especially within the LGBTQ+ community. With Pride events and protests cancelled across the UK and other parts of the world, our fight for visibility has had to be put on hold for the most part. As a minority group, we need that sense of community in order to thrive and survive, and with so many queer-friendly spaces having to shut down due to COVID-19, many of us have lost that connection. As things are starting to open up again, we’re now looking ahead to what we as an LGBTQ+ brand can do to help continue the fight for equality and create a safe space for our own community.
When we started RCREW, our mission was to normalise our queer identities within a heteronormative society. Selling our LGBTQ+ bracelets was our way of helping the community find a space where they can be their authentic selves through connecting with fellow members of their niche. We designed our bracelets to match the colours of different LGBTQ+ flags so that each sub-group can identify and connect with one another through non-verbal signalling.
It’s vital for every one of us to find a home within the LGBTQ+ community, no matter your sexual and gender identity. Our ultimate goal is to create something for just about every identity under the intersectional rainbow. As we continue to expand our brand, we’re creating new products for different sexualities, gender identities and tribes. So far, we’ve designed signalling bracelets for 15 different identities within the queer space. However, we know coming out as our true selves can be difficult, which is why we’ve also included a ‘Plain & Simple’ bracelet in our collection for anyone who is not ready or not able to come out.
Having to share our sexual and gender identity, mainly to non-LGBTQ+ folks, can make us feel vulnerable. But when making the steps towards normalising our identities, it all begins within ourselves. Many young LGBTQ+ kids are still struggling within the UK and in other parts of the world to come to terms with their identities. But, like previous generations before us, it is our responsibility as a group to carry the torch for the next generation to come.
Whilst our aspirational goal is to change attitudes and bring about societal change for future generations of LGBTQ+ kids, we understand that this will take time. And the journey will be rocky. But as a company, we feel it is important to give back to our community from the start: we have decided to partner with AKT, donating 10% of our profits to help younger LGBTQ+ people who are experiencing homelessness or hostile environments.
We’re excited to see what the future holds for our community and how we can shape the future together. And also for queer life to start up again in a post-pandemic world.
The fight is far from over, but sometimes being part of radical change can just mean showing your true colours.