July 1, 2015

Musings on same-sex and small steps

Last week we celebrated – as sure most people did! – when the Supreme Court ruled that marriage between two people of any sexuality or gender orientation is a human right. Because it damn well is.

It got us thinking about our name – Unity.  The state of being united or joined as a whole.

Which to us feels like an unassailable right, one that’s ridiculous that people across the world still don’t have.  We especially felt this back in 2012 when we became part of the lobby to legalise same-sex marriage in the UK, with our good friends Ben & Jerry’s – a cause close to the brand’s hearts, as one of the first companies to provide same sex partner benefits.

We devised a simple but effective idea to show our support, in a way that put the product at the heart – to rebrand the much-loved ‘Oh My! Apple Pie!’ flavour into ‘Apple-y Ever After’. We also developed a Facebook app with Stonewall, allowing friends to ‘marry’ each other on Facebook just for laughs and to spread the love.

This immediately caught the attention of the public, celebrities and even the Government – the challenge was out there!

But we weren’t finished!  We then created limited edition tubs of ice cream, personalised them and sent out to influencers; and the supportive tweets from people such as Stephen Fry and Lyne Featherstone (Equalities Minister) and the thousands of people who got hitched online really helped our social action.

In February 2013 MPs approved same-sex marriage in England and Wales – and Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield were nominated for Stonewall’s annual ‘hero of the year 2012’ Award.

One small step for ice cream, one giant leap for equality.

And this really sums up what we believe at Unity – that many people taking small steps, joined together as a whole, can change the world.

Whether getting young people to pledge to vote in elections, or not troll online with vInspired.  Or talking about male suicide, getting people to volunteer in the community with Orange RockCorps, stop using sunbeds with Cancer Research UK or getting parents to cut each other some slack with Netmums.

So we challenge ourselves, our brands and the public to take those small steps and change the world in a big way.  Even if the smallest step is the hardest to take.  Stephen Fry