October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The signature pink ribbon (and in many ways, the colour pink itself) have long been strongly associated with the cause. Today, an increasing number of companies are incorporating pink in special edition products in association with Breast Cancer Awareness Month. From clothing lines to makeup brands, pink products hit the shelves everywhere each October, all in the name of raising money and awareness for a good cause.
In 2017, nearly 26,300 women were diagnosed with breast cancer in Canada – that’s approximately 72 women a day, with 5,000 women dying from the disease. In the US, it’s estimated that some 266,120 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 2018, with 40,920 deaths. To put that into perspective, about 1 in 8 women (or 12.4%) in the US are at risk of developing breast cancer at some point in their lives. It’s almost impossible for someone to remain unaffected by the condition on some level, whether it’s through a family member, a friend, or a colleague.
Breast cancer can affect anyone regardless of their age, race, or even gender. Although some individuals may be at a higher risk due to certain genetic predispositions, it’s important to remember that all women (especially those in their 40s and older) should be getting yearly mammograms. Early detection is key to receiving the best treatment possible and preventative steps like eating right and exercising often, staying away from alcohol and tobacco, and protecting yourself from heavy radiation and/or environmental pollution are also important.
In support of this important cause, here’s a look at some major brands that have released limited-edition themed products, with a percentage of their sales proceeds going directly to select cancer research and non-profit organizations (like the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Bright Pink, and Rethink Breast Cancer, among others).
Estée Lauder’s Pink Ribbon Collection 2018
Knix’s Rethink Collection
NakedCashmere’s Love Scarf for Breast Cancer
Ralph Lauren’s Pink Pony Collection
Panera Bread’s Pink Ribbon Bagel
From a marketing standpoint, companies strategically align themselves with charities and social causes all the time, and it’s not a bad idea. As long as the company’s values line up with the cause, it can be a net positive. Companies can do well by doing good, because most customers want to invest in something that gives back. Collaborations like this can become problematic, however, when the brand’s services don’t fit the cause. (For example, a partnership between a fast-food giant and a healthcare organization could be tricky, especially if the food company has a history of serving unhealthy fare.) And bad PR is the last thing any company wants.
There are many different ways to support worthy causes like breast cancer awareness. From donating to fundraising to creating partnerships, giving is more impactful that ever. Powerful brands have the ability to reach millions of people, and they can use their platforms to truly make a difference for the better.
Rhea Braganza | Staff Writer