Target’s ESG report proudly highlights its endorsement of the LGBTQ movement through the hiring of diverse suppliers. However, controversy surrounds the retail giant as conservatives launch a boycott in response to their questionable moves regarding a “Pride Month” collection.
Conservative activists are up in arms after Target marketed a female swimsuit as “tuck-friendly” and with “extra crotch coverage.” Furthermore, the company hired an artist known for creating Satanic items to design various pieces for their collection. Target’s sustainability report boasts about sourcing 59% of their “Pride Month” items from “LGBTQIA+ creators and brands” and emphasizes their commitment to women, BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, veterans, and people with disabilities.
The company prides itself on building relationships with such suppliers through national business groups, including the National Minority Supplier Development Council and National LGBT Chamber of Commerce. Their efforts have gained recognition, with Target ranking fourth in the list of “Top Companies for LGBTQ Employees” by DiversityInc.
However, Target faced intense backlash when it was revealed that the artist they hired, Erik Carnell, sells items featuring the LGBTQ movement alongside Satanic imagery. Despite claims that Satan is merely a symbol of passion and love, the controversial association left many conservatives outraged.
Target’s embrace of the ESG movement, which prioritizes political and social causes, has garnered skepticism. Critics argue that such a focus detracts from profitability. Yet, Target’s CEO, Brian Cornell, insists that diversity, inclusion, and equity have contributed to their growth and engagement with both employees and customers.
This controversy echoes similar cautionary tales, such as Anheuser-Busch’s declining sales after their association with a self-described transgender influencer. As businesses prioritize ESG practices, the question remains whether they are truly focused on profitability or are simply using social causes as a distraction.