Every year in October I buy several Swedish Cancer Society pink ribbons – one for each coat. A different Swedish designer creates the ribbon each year. Almost all the money from ribbon sales goes to finance research and education campaigns. I have many friends, students, and relatives who have fought breast cancer and not always won, so I like to support them and all other women who may be the 1 in 8 who develop breast cancer during the course of their lifetime.
I often wonder though, how many of the explosion of Pink October products in support of breast cancer actually go to support breast cancer research or survivors.
I cynically believe that most of the companies just put boobs on a cake or display pink items in October to jump on the bandwagon. Many independent shops selling boob-shaped cookies or pink pens usually have no signs anywhere that they are donating. I guess as long as they are not selling carcinogenic items, not overcharging for said pink items, or attempting to elicit donations, they are increasing awareness and hopefully causing more people to think of their mammary health. But it (and the proliferation of other ribbon causes) could cause ‘pink fatigue’.
Below is my local pet supplies store. They have a pink ‘theme’ in their windows at the moment, though there are also several official items for sale where a portion of the proceeds goes to the Cancer Society. I liked this display because I don’t feel it was misleading in any way. They had one window with cute pink items and a another window featuring official pink ribbon products. And of course the fact that I love animals may have influenced me a great deal when seeing all the cute pink things in the window! Whether the cat sand company was cynical or generous in creating special Pink Ribbon cat sand mats is up to debate I suppose.
What do you think?
This year’s Swedish pink ribbon is designed by one of my favourite designers, Efva Attling, who is herself a breast cancer survivor.