Come Mardi Gras time, Sydney is literally flooded with rainbows, all claiming to be Mardis Gras related. Rainbow water, rainbow shirts, rainbow flags, rainbow alcohol: the city literally becomes one glorious rainbow. I strongly encourage this colourful makeover, but how many of these products will actually donate any money from your purchase towards equality?

If you’re hoping to make your purchases really count, here’s a list of things you can deck yourself out in this Mardis Gras that will also make a real impact.

1. Sparkke’s Nipples

Don’t worry, it’s alcohol. And it’s completely founded on equality and inclusion in all areas of life from LGBTQI+ to sexual consent to asylum seekers to the environment. And that’s all the time, not just during Mardis Gras. They have six different bevvies and each one donates 10% of direct sales and 4% of channel sales to the cause on the can. During pride week you’ll be looking for Say I Do White Wine + Bubbles. I love everything about everything they’re doing.

2. Hush Puppies

As a major sponsor of Mardi Gras, this year they’ve produced the first ever official shoe of the event. Not just any old shoe, this adorable unisex rainbow striped white sneaker.

Which means that, beyond it being beneficial to support sponsors of Mardi Gras in general as they help make the event happen and the event itself is such an important platform for change on LGBTIQA+ issues, they’ll be directly donating 50% of all profits from the shoe back to the Mardi Gras community grants program.

3. GAYLE

GAYLE is Australia’s first and only independently owned gay beer and cider company. It was literally started as a way to unite communities and bring attention to inequalities faced by the LGBTIQA+ community. They sponser a bunch of related events during the year, as well as donating part of their profits back to organisations fighting for the cause.

4. Myer

Just last year, Myer signed on for a three-year deal to be Mardi Gras’ exclusive fashion retail partner and major sponsor, even joining in the parade with their own float last year. The partnership was part of what they described as their commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace and broader community. So if you need a good costume, or just you know, clothes, you can be confident knowing Myer suppoerts the cause.

5. Yak Ales

Yak Ales became a first time major Mardis Gras sponsor this year, following their parent label Carlton Draught’s partnership with the AFL Pride Game last year. They announced a super limited addition Pride Yak Carnival Ale just in time for the festivities. If you’re going to drink, it may as well be for a company actively supporting LGBTIQA+ rights events.

You can find the brew around Darlinghurst and Newtown in The Colombian, The Gaslight Inn, Burdekin Hotel, The Flinders Hotel, and The Bank Hotel.

6. The Upside

Sydney based activewear brand The Upside are not newcomers to collaborating to charities, so it’s not surprising but super damn delightful that $10 from every Rainbow Tank purchase from their Mardi Gras Rainbow Dance Collection before March 2nd from their special Mardi Gras collection will go to Australia’s longest standing LGBTIQA+ youth charity, Twenty10.

7. Woolworths Group

Everybody needs groceries, especially come parade day when you’re either hosting or attending a mates lunch, so may as well grab them from a major partner of Mardi Gras. They were also the first retail organisation to be recognised with Gold tier status at the 2018 Australian LGBTI Inclusion Awards, so they’re living what they preach and we stan that.

Of course, Dan Murphy’s, BWS, Cellarmasters and Langton’s all fall under the Woolworth’s Group banner so add them to the party prep list too.

8. Absolut Vodka

Have you seen the super lovely Mardis Gras campaign Absolut dropped this year? They’re another major sponsor of the event and they’re not new to it, releasing their iconic rainbow bottles each year. So grab a couple for all your cocktail needs.

Image: Provided by The Upside