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PINK IS NOT THE PROBLEM......THE PROBLEM IS PINKWASHING.
October is breast cancer awareness month. There is an influx of pink, with pink campaigns, pink products, pink ribbons to “support” the cause. Breast cancer has become a multibillion dollar industry but it’s entirely unregulated.
pink • wash • ing (noun)
a marketing tactic. the exploitation of breast cancer for profit or public relations. the act of supporting the breast cancer cause or promoting a pink ribbon product while actively producing, manufacturing, or selling products linked to the disease.
BEHIND THE CAMPAIGN.
PINK IS NOT THE PROBLEM is an initiative created by the community for the community.
The Breasties 501(c)3 nonprofit organization brought together 10 community members, all affected by breast cancer in some capacity.
They were asked questions about their experiences surrounding breast cancer awareness month, the color pink, the exploitation of stories, and pinkwashing. Their responses are real, raw, and unscripted.
PINKWASHING IS HARMFUL.
"Buying a product that has a pink ribbon on it doesn't necessarily mean that you're supporting the cause in any which way, shape or form."
- Dana, Breast Cancer Survivor
“Some corporations are not even giving back at all. And they are just profiting off our suffering and are profiting off our fight. If you're going to join our fight, help us fight. Don't profit off it”
- Clara, Breast Cancer Survivor
“A lot of organizations and brands think they're doing good and don't realize the harm that it could cause for members in the community. The exploitation of your disease ... you feel like a prop for a marketing campaign. It doesn't feel like it honors everything you've been through. And it doesn't feel like it's doing anything to give back to the community that you're a part of."
- Allie, Breast Cancer Survivor
"Do people understand that breast cancer isn't just a color? There are so many diverse stories and people behind this disease and there are so many needs that aren't being met."
- Bri, Breast Cancer Previvor
"Some corporations want to show that they are philanthropic, caring about a cause. They are just painting a color over, changing their logos. But truthfully do you care? You're making money off of people's pain and people's burdens."
- Alexis, Breast Cancer Survivor
LACK OF TRANSPARENCY AROUND FUNDS
Charitable giving around breast cancer is unregulated. The presence of a pink ribbon does not equate to a donation being made and the amount/use of funds is not always communicated clearly.
MANY ARE PROFITING OFF THE CAUSE
Companies and organizations are using breast cancer to further their marketing efforts for personal gain. Profits from these campaigns, are not being used to meet the needs of those impacted by breast cancer.
COMMUNITY MEMBERS ARE BEING EXPLOITED
The stories of individuals impacted by breast cancer are used to sell products and/or enhance marketing efforts, without compensation or a donation to the cause.
Only 2%-5% of funds raised for breast cancer research goes towards stage 4 research.
The color pink can be placed on anything and there's no requirement for it to give back to breast cancer.
The average “giveback” from a pink product or campaign is less than 10% of proceeds.
A pink ribbon can be put on products that are harmful, unhealthy, toxic, or carcinogenic.
When it comes to being an informed consumer…
Know where your money goes: Before purchasing something pink, ask yourself:
WHEN IT COMES TO NONPROFITS…
Do your research: When navigating which breast cancer nonprofit organization to support, ask yourself:
WHEN IT COMES TO BUSINESSES or CORPORATIONS THAT WANT TO GIVE BACK…
Identify your intention: When looking to giveback as a business or corporation:
WHEN IT COMES TO WANTING TO SUPPORT A LOVED ONE…
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