Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer amongst women, and it is the major cause of death related to oncological diseases.
Every year, October is observed as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The entire world comes together to do their bit by donating to several programmes and cancer centres to raise awareness about the disease.
Breast cancer survivor and America’s National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc., (NBCF) supporter, Patryce Sheppard, says she has realised she “was not educated or aware about what breast cancer actually was and how it impacted and affected people.”
This is the kind of assistance and guidance Breast Cancer Awareness Month, too, aims to provide along with inspiring hope among those who are suffering from breast cancer.
Amid all this, one wonders how we arrived at choosing a pink ribbon that symbolises the support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month and is seen on advertisement boards, social media, collaborations, charities and everywhere the eye goes. This association has an intriguing history.
In 1990, Komen of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation was distributing pink visors to breast cancer survivors who ran in the Race for the Cure event, bringing the colour to the limelight. In late 1991, they handed out pink ribbons during the race in New York City.
The following year, editor-in-chief of Self magazine Alexandra Penney teamed up with Evelyn Lauder — a breast cancer survivor and the then Estée Lauder senior corporate vice president — who added the pink ribbon to its cosmetic counters in the US.
Soon, they came across a 68-year-old woman named Charlotte Haley, who came from a family where most women had battled breast cancer. Handing out peach-coloured loops at the local market, her message stated: “The National Cancer Institute annual budget is USD 1.8 billion, only 5 percent goes for cancer prevention. Help us wake up our legislators and America by wearing this ribbon.”
Having already distributed thousands and spread her message by word of mouth, Haley refused to collaborate with Self, saying they were “too commercial”. However, the magazine wanted to continue with the ribbon. The brand’s lawyers suggested they come up with a different colour. That is how they arrived at ‘150-pink’.
Over the years, many global brands have also joined hands with international funds and breast cancer charities that either help people suffering from the disease through medical and financial services or support breast cancer research that is trying to find new and innovative ways of fighting the disease.
Here are some global brands that are trying to make a difference in the battle against breast cancer and contributing during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
To raise awareness around Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the brand has released a gorgeous pink headband. Ten percent of the sale of each of these headbands will be given to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation® (BCRF).
The brand has launched a collection titled ‘Pretty In Pink Set’, in collaboration with The Pink Fund. The latter is an organisation that helps people undergoing breast cancer treatment in several ways, including payment of bills up to 90 days of the treatment, reducing stress levels, providing basic necessities and much more.
The limited-edition products comprise a travel-size eyeshadow palette, a blending brush and hydrating liquid lipstick. Earnings amounting to 20 percent of the sale of these products will be donated to The Pink Fund.
In 2000, the American fashion company initiated a global campaign named Pink Pony Campaign, which supports initiatives that make quality treatment available to cancer patients, thereby reducing disparity amongst them.
The Ralph Lauren website states: “When someone we love has cancer, we are all affected — husbands, wives, mothers and fathers, sisters, brothers, and friends. This is our effort in the fight against cancer.”
Whenever one buys from the Pink Pony collection, 25 percent of the purchase price of each item goes to the fund or various international cancer charities. However, when one buys the Pink Pony fleece hoodie, the entire amount goes to cancer charities.
One of these is the best-selling BING 100 in bright pink satin with a crystal strap. Twenty percent of the purchase price from the sale of each item in this collection will go to the research foundation, amounting to a maximum donation of USD 100,000 (SGD 1,35,284).
Other products from the collection are handbags, wallets, pumps and more.
Estée Lauder Companies launched its Breast Cancer Campaign in 1992. The Campaign has also been a partner of the BCRF. The foundation and the campaign were founded by the late Evelyn H. Lauder.
The beauty brand’s renowned Advanced Night Repair serum has also been launched in a special packaging for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Along with the night repair serum, a bright pink pin and a kit that has multiple beauty products have been unveiled.
Twenty percent of the purchase price of each of the Advanced Night Repair Serum sold from September 2021–June 2022 (or till supplies last), adding up to the maximum of USD 261,000 (SGD 354,023), will be donated to the BCRF.
Owned by Estée Lauder Companies, the British perfume and candle company has been partners with the BCRF since 2003.
To honour Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Jo Malone London has launched a limited-edition Peony & Blush Suede Cologne in 100 ml bottles for the Breast Cancer Campaign.
The cologne, containing hints of apple, jasmine, rose and gillyflower, will be available from 1 October, 2021, to 30 June, 2022, and 50 percent of the purchase price, adding up to USD 60,000 (SGD 81,241), will go to the BCRF.
One of the most loved lingerie brands, Savage X Fenty by multi-hyphenated Rihanna, introduced one of her famous bralettes in ash pink to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
For every bralette that is purchased, a portion of the purchase price will be donated to the Clara Lionel Foundation (CLF).
Savage X Fenty is donating to a fund that supports “critical breast cancer research and helps members of the black community who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.”
The global athleisure company PUMA has teamed up with Barbell for Boobs to launch an entire collection to enlighten people about breast cancer.
Barbell for Boobs is a breast cancer community that helps people who have been diagnosed with the disease and cancer survivors. It also provides them with the required resources to improve their quality of life. From training tees to tank tops and socks, you will find everything in this collection.
Lingerie, clothing and beauty retailer Victoria’s Secret partnered with Pelotonia, an organisation that supports innovative cancer research, to create the VS Global Fund For Women’s Cancer.
For the entire month of October, also the VS will be selling a mastectomy bra, which features beautiful partially recycled lace, for an introductory price of USD 10 (SGD 13.53). It is available in two colours — champagne-white and black.
The total amount from the sales, up to a maximum donation of USD 150,000 (SGD 203,098), will be donated to the research.
Naked Cashmere is one of the brands that has collaborated with the BCRF for their collection.
Their LOVE collection is on sale throughout the year, as the brand believes that every month should be dedicated to breast cancer. It consists of articles, including cashmere slippers, hot water bottles, cashmere socks, stoles and eye masks in beautiful nude pink with ‘love’ embroidered on them.
The brand is donating USD 50 (SGD 67.64) from each sale to the foundation up to USD 350,000 (SGD 473,786).
GUESS Watches has partnered with the non-profit organisation Get In Touch Foundation for the eighth consecutive year to spread breast cancer awareness during October and raise funds for the same.
The company released a special analogue watch with pink rhinestones and a patent crocodile-embossed strap. Ten percent of each watch sold will go to the foundation.
A BCRF partner since the year 2000, Bobbi Brown has introduced a new high-shine oil-infused gloss duo in a beautiful pink packaging.
A portion from the sale of the limited-edition pink gloss duo incurred between 7 September, 2021, and 30 June, 2022, and a maximum of USD 110,000 (SGD 148,890), or until supplies last, will go to the BCRF.
Among the other beauty brands that come under Estée Lauder Companies is Clinique.
With the launch of a limited-edition moisturising lotion for great skin, Clinique is doing its bit to spread breast cancer awareness this month. The special packaging of this product consists of a limited-edition pink ribbon keychain.
The brand will donate USD 10 (SGD 13.55) from every purchase of the moisturiser, containing the Hyaluronic acid, for breast cancer research at the BCRF. It aims to achieve a goal of USD 490,000 (SGD 663,117).
Michael Kors too is owned by Estée Lauder Companies and it has joined hands with the latter’s initiative to spread awareness about breast cancer.
The luxury brand has launched one of its most-loved perfumes with a special pink packaging and an exclusive sleeve.
Michael Kors Gorgeous! is an Eau de Parfum, that has a floral scent blended with hints of tobacco accord and comforting wood.
The entire amount of the purchase price incurred between the dates 1 September, 2021, and 30 June, 2022, will be donated to the BCRF. Michael Kors has set a target of USD 30,000 (SGD 40,665), or until supplies last, for this donation.
The fashion brand Donna Karan New York (DKNY), as part of Estee Lauder Companies’ campaign in support of breast cancer, has produced a limited edition of their popular Cashmere Mist Eau de Parfum.
It has the perfect combination of notes of lily, jasmine and sandalwood and comes with a special pink-ribbon packaging. 100 percent of the purchase price from the sale of all the perfumes, up to the amount of USD 30,000 (SGD 40,586) between 1 September, 2021, and 30 June, 2022, will go to the BCRF.