We’ve talked before about greenwashing — when a company makes “green,” “all natural,” and “organic” claims despite being anything but. Pinkwashing is similar. It’s when a company slaps a pink breast cancer ribbon on its product or makes claims of donating to breast cancer organizations while actively producing, manufacturing, or selling products linked to this devastating disease.
We’re willing to bet you’ve been pinkwashed. Especially during the breast cancer awareness month of October, known as “pinktober.”
Companies using this marketing tactic are exploiting breast cancer and those affected by breast cancer for profit or public relations. They’re making lots of money and very little (if any!) gets to the people and places actually doing the work to find cures and keep patients alive.
Where did it all start?
The first breast cancer awareness ribbon was actually peach. It was created in the 1990s by breast cancer survivor Charlotte Haley who started a small grassroots campaign to encourage legislators to allocate more money to cancer prevention. The movement was taken over by corporate America when the Estee Lauder company and Self Magazine asked Charlotte Haley for permission to use her ribbon and she refused, wanting to maintain the grassroots origins of her campaign. Those corporations responded by changing the color of the ribbon to pink to avoid legal issues, and the pink breast cancer awareness ribbon we know today was created.
Unfortunately, use of the pink ribbon to create awareness (which has actually worked — we are all aware of breast cancer) only helps boost corporate America’s profits. It does less for breast cancer research toward a cure, patient and community support, and educational resources.
What can you do?
Just like with greenwashing, the best thing you can do when confronted with the pink ribbon and breast cancer awareness claims is to do your research. Don’t be duped into supporting a misleading cause or marketing campaign. A pink ribbon on a product doesn’t necessarily mean the manufacturer is contributing to a charity. Find out what, if any, portion of the proceeds from the sale of a product goes toward a reputable organization doing something to enact real change and directly impact those affected by breast cancer. Or instead, donate directly to the organization of your choice. That way you know 100 percent of your donation is going directly toward their cause and mission.
Ignore the front label on a product and read the ingredient list. Exposure to harmful ingredients like parabens and phthalates, commonly found in personal care products, can increase the risk of breast cancer. Be sure that the products you purchase for yourself and your family are truly clean, not made with these or other potentially cancer-causing ingredients.
Pure Haven is committed to developing safe, effective products made with only guaranteed non toxic ingredients. We never use ingredients linked to disease, including breast cancer, and we never will, so you can shop our products worry free, knowing your family is protected.
Please contact your Pure Haven Consultant today to learn more.