October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Promoting early cancer detection, treatment and survival is a laudable endeavor (of course it is), and it’s a huge testament to the breast cancer awareness movement that the pink ribbon is, I dare say, universally recognized as its symbol.
Once upon a time, I used to eagerly await October and the limited-edition breast cancer awareness items that came with it.
The Ford Foundation (yes, the car company) was an early leader and would collaborate with trendy designers each year to produce a unique scarf, with 100% of the net proceeds contributed to breast cancer charities.
Here are two of my past favorites, from Kate Spade and Lilly Pulitzer, respectively.
But then came the sad phenomenon of pinkwashing, where less-than-charitable companies joined the bandwagon and produced pink merchandise simply to generate goodwill (and profit), but sometimes with little or no charitable contributions on the back end. Truly sad.
When the Susan G. Komen Foundation got called out for stopping funding to Planned Parenthood (a move that was quickly reversed but still happened), it saw its donations plummet and the movement further lost its luster, at least to me.
So where should you donate?
As for me, I am still susceptible to the Power of the Pink.
For the past two years, my local coffee shop has offered a reusable mug that – for a mere $29.99 – can be endlessly refilled throughout the month of October. Here’s the one for this year:
Pinkwashing or not, I had to get one of these mugs. And I am bound and determined to make a difference toward the Cure.
My eye is already twitchy from the caffeine.