Apple launched a special Pride Edition Apple Watch band Thursday, with a part of its sales to go to LGBT support groups. The nylon band will come in two sizes — 38mm and 42mm, and cost $49 each.
“Apple is proud to support LGBTQ advocacy organizations working to bring about positive change, including GLSEN, PFLAG and The Trevor Project in the U.S. and ILGA internationally. A portion of the proceeds from Pride Edition band sales will benefit their important efforts,” the company said on its product page.
The company’s endeavor coincides with the back end of Pride Month, which is generally considered to be in June, to honor the 1969 Stonewall Riots. The company says its latest band is made up of 500 threads woven together to form a rainbow pattern to denote the official symbol of the LGBT movement.
The company had previously handed a Pride-themed band to employees during Pride Month in 2016.
Apple CEO, Tim Cook had announced in 2014 he was gay, making him the only openly gay CEO of a Fortune 500 organization. In 2015, he received an award for supporting LGBT rights from the Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBT rights organization in the U.S.
That same year, Apple also spoke out against then Indiana Governor Mike Pence’s Religious Freedom bill, which made it legal for businesses to discriminate against someone for being gay or lesbian. A subsequent amendment was passed just weeks after the bill was signed into law, granting more protection for LGBT customers.
In March, Apple was among 53 major companies supporting 17-year old transgender student Gavin Grimm against his school district for the right to use the bathroom assigned to the gender he identified with.
Apple giving away a portion of the Pride Edition Apple Watch's sales to help LGBT support groups is not the first instance of the company doing something like this. It has similar initiatives for many products and recently launched the red iPhone 7, with a part of its sales to go to a global fund helping raise awareness and fighting HIV/AIDS.
Cook told USA Today in an interview in November, "We haven't shied away from being visible on a number of topics, and if it's something in our wheelhouse, we'll always be visible and stand up to protect as well as advance people's rights.”
Even before Cook took over, Apple supported equal rights for all. The company has had an internal Diversity Network Association called Pride since 1986, which works on wholesome representation of communities and pay equity for men and women. But being a consumer durables company, Apple’s open and active support, as opposed to tiptoeing around LGBT causes is uncharacteristic of a company its size.
“We see diversity as everything that makes an employee who they are. We foster a diverse culture that’s inclusive of disability, religious belief, sexual orientation, and service to country. We want all employees to be comfortable bringing their entire selves to work every day. Because we believe our individual backgrounds, perspectives, and passions help us create the ideas that move all of us forward,” the company says on its Diversity webpage.