We're so excited to welcome our latest artist collaboration; a new mini collection with the glorious artwork of Wednesday Holmes with 100% of the sale price being split between a wonderful selection of LGBTQIA+ charities to celebrate Pride Month.
About the Artist: Wednesday is an Artist and Queer Community Organiser based in London, UK. Wednesday creates joyful art for the LGBTQIA+ community about a variety of topics including mental health, recovery and queer experience.
Wednesday's work is colourful, astute, intersectional, and strikes an important balance - some to inform and educate, some to make you smile and feel worthy.
We couldn't go ahead with the photoshoot we originally had planned for this collection, but we asked our wonderful models and friends of the brand who are part of the LGTBQIA+ community to give the tees a spin from their homes - go wild, get their partners involved and have some fun shooting the range! We also asked each of them to choose a charity for the donations:
About the Charities:
The Outside Project – chosen by the artist, Wednesday Holmes. The Outside Project is a homeless/crisis shelter and community centre based in London in response to those within the LGBTQIA+ community who feel endangered, who are homeless, ‘hidden’ homeless & feel that they are on the outside of services, due to historical and present prejudice in society & their homes. The Outside Project aims to create space to empower and bring together the whole LGBTQIA+ community, provide free, safe and inclusive space for all guests and practically, professionally and emotionally support guests whilst in the shelter.
Mermaids – chosen by both Ben Pechey and Jem Stevens – Mermaids has supported trans and gender-diverse children, young people and their families since 1995. Mermaids is one of the UK’s leading LGBTQIA+ charities, empowering thousands of people through its secure online communities, local communities groups, helpline, web resources, events and residential weekends. Mermaids also seeks to educate and inform wider society on gender identity by helping professionals accommodate and reassure gender-variant young people. Their fundamental belief is transgender children deserve the freedom and confidence to explore their gender identity wherever their journey takes them free from fear, isolation and discrimination.
Colours Youth UK – chosen by Xandice Armah – Supporting young People of Colour to explore and celebrate who they are, through meaningful connections to other young people and an experienced team of QTIBPOC youth workers. Their vision is to ensure that across the UK every LGBTQIA+ young Person of Colour has access to a local provision and support that is led by LGBTQIA+ People of Colour. Over the past 4 years Colours Youth Network has supported young people from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales but want to do long term sustainable work that builds a legacy in the UK.
Eon Youth Center – chosen by Jen Bass – Eon Youth Center operates in Tuscon, Arizona. It is a safe and social space for LGBTQIA+ and straight allied youth aged 13-23 to hang out and access the services they need. Eon works to strengthen the lesbian, gay, bisexual, two spirit, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, and straight allied youth communities by creating social opportunities, providing information and support on health issues, advocating for youth rights and challenging society's perceptions of youth as they face institutionalized oppressions that target the many facets of their identities. Eon Youth Center operates in partnership with the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation.
Naz & Matt Foundation – chosen by Naz Torabally and Ella Patenall – The Naz & Matt Foundation is based in the UK and tackles homophobia that is triggered by religion. The foundation exists to empower and support LGBTQIA+ individuals, their friends and family to work towards resolving challenges linked to sexuality or gender identity, particularly where religion in heavily influencing the situation.
Exist Loudly Fund – chosen by Emmy Stonelake and Zoe West – Exist Loudly Fund was set up by Tanya Compas to support Young Queer Black People in London and beyond. Young Queer Black people deserve a space for joy, community and to find a chosen family, and a space where they can explore their identity as being both queer and Black without having to hide any part of themselves.
Books Beyond Bars – chosen by Ellie Medhurst and Lilith Dillon-Parkin – Books Beyond Bars UK is a collective of volunteers who send books and other educational materials, free of charge, to incarcerated LGBTQIA+ people across the UK. The project seeks to shift some control back to the hands of incarcerated people by giving them access to resources of their choosing and work against the oppressive function of the prison system. This project is inspired by its sister project in the US ‘LGBT Books to Prisoners, through which more than 8000 incarcerated LGBTQIA+ people have received book parcels.
Our lovely models and friends of the campaign, and why they've chosen each charity:
Emmy Stonelake (She/Her) & Zoe West (She/Her)
Emmy is our Welsh superstar! As well as modelling, she works as an actor-musician and lives with her gorgeous fiancé Zoe in their flat in Croydon which has been an incredible backdrop for their recent at-home shoots! Emmy's originally from the Valleys in South Wales and speaks Welsh fluently, she also plays the harp (iconic). She is passionate about all things ethical, queer, and plus-size and so she says working with Lucy & Yak on this collection is literally her "DREAM JOB".
Emmy's Fiance Zoe is an actor-musician as well, originally from Teesside in the North East of England. She's a songwriter and makes a mean cauliflower curry. She also looks better in a crop top than she expected.
"We chose Tanya Compas' Exist Loudly Fund as our chosen charity because we're passionate about supporting the QTIBIPOC community and value the wide-reaching ambition of this fund. The Exist Loudly Fund supports young Queer Black people to find a chosen family, and a space where they can explore their identity as being both queer and Black without having to hide any part of themselves."
@lallyst | @zoewesticle
Naz Toorabally (She/Her) & Ella Patenall (She/Her)
Naz is one of the wonderful models for our Made In Britain Campaign - she is also a musician and the editor of WIERDO zine, which aims to document the perspectives of alt South Asians in fashion, beauty and music.
Naz & Ella are an indie-folk duo from north London who have been writing and performing together for 10 years.
They chose the Naz & Matt Foundation which is a charity tackling homophobia, triggered by religion or culture, to help parents accept their LGBTQIA+ children. The charity was founded in 2014 after Matt’s fiancé, Naz, took his own life two days after being confronted about his sexuality by his deeply religious family. Naz & Ella chose this charity due to their own experiences with homophobia related to religious beliefs and wanted to raise awareness on the Naz and Matt Foundation’s work in building bridges between religious and LGBTQIA+ communities.
Xandice Armah (They/Them)
Xandice is a Brighton based DJ who has graced many of our shop and pop up events with wonderful and diverse tunes, and is co-founder of the amazing club night Gal Pals.
'I chose Colours Youth Network because they provide support for young LGBTQIA+ black people and people of colour and as a black non-binary person, I believe these services are absolutely vital - particularly as it's an organisation that's run by queer people of colour.
Colours' vision is to ensure that every LGBT+ young person of colour across the UK has access to a local provision and support. I know how much this support would have meant to me growing up, so I want to see their vision flourish into existence.'
Jen Bass (She/Her)
Jen is from Tuscon, Arizona and has recently graduated from college in California. She is currently working as a geology research assistant, aside from that Jen loves to go on adventures outside, make art, garden, dance, sing, read, cook, and work on crossword puzzles.
Jen has chosen to support the Eon Youth Lounge of the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation because they provide safe spaces and resources for LGBQIA+ and transgender teens and young adults. It’s a special and important resource for the young queer community in Tuscon, where Jen grew up!
Ben Pechey (They/Them)
Ben lives in Yorkshire, UK and identifies as Non-Binary. They are a freelance writer, content creator, fashion critic, proud Leo and LBGTQIA+ Activist.
"Growing up I never saw or knew anybody like myself. Now at 25, I am incredibly comfortable with who I am and am visibly present in society. I am existing and thriving as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. I hope that I can be the representation for people just like me, giving them the chance to feel accepted that I so often struggled to feel growing up. I do weekly posts discussing body positivity, gender, activism, climate change and everything else between.
I've chosen Mermaids as my charity to support, because of the incredibly important work they do to support Trans youth and their families, which is even more vital in the current climate where many governments are trying their best to attack trans rights."
Jem Stevens (She/Her)
Jem works on the operations team for the fab tech startup Trouva - an online marketplace for independent boutiques. She is the namesake for our boilersuit Jem and best pals with our stylist Soph.
Jem has chosen Mermaids as her charity to support for the amazing work they do in support of Trans youth - 'Supporting Mermaids is more important than ever in light of the seeming constant debate about trans people’s right to simply be - but we are not up for discussion, our existence real and valid and beautiful!'
Ellie Medhurst (She/Her) & Lilith Dillon-Parkin (She/Her)
Ellie & Lilith are from Brighton. Ellie is currently finishing her masters degree, where she is specialising in lesbian fashion history and lesbian slogan t-shirts.
Her fiancee Lilith is a modern language and translation student from Birmingham.
They chose Books Beyond Bars UK as their charity: "As lesbians, abolitionists and avid readers and learners, we believe that access to positive LGBT representation in books and to education are two key ways we can support incarcerated people while fighting on their behalf to dismantle the prison-industrial complex."