I had many people ask me about the list of five steps to think of before buying into breast cancer consumerism. What does that mean to “contribute to the epidemic?” You asked. Well, here’s a breakdown I hope is helpful.
1. Some companies want you to buy into them because of their support of Breast cancer awareness. They actually are part of the epidemic.
An example of this is BMW. Every time you test drive one of their cars they will give Susan G. Komen one dollar. Their pollutants from the exhaust are actually linked to cancer. Same with many cosmetics companies.
This term is called “pinkwashing.” Pinkwashing represents the companies that increase pollution and production of products that are known to have chemical links to breast cancer in order to “help” the cause.
2. Many product’s packaging will not tell you specifically how the money will be used. For example, Penn tennis balls donated 15 cents for each tube sold to “breast cancer research.” You still don’t know what kind of organization it is going to. Will the money fund an already well funded group? Will it go towards a underfunded, innovative research group? Is it reaching the most people in need? Some even help pay for mammograms. More here.
3. A pink ribbon does not mean your money is going where you think it is going. An example of this is lean cuisine. Their pink ribbon on the box did not mean your money was automatically being donated. You still have to jump through hoops in order to actually help the cause by going to their website and purchasing their lunch tote. Then and only then would your five dollars from your tote purchase go to breast cancer. (you might as well just go to the source *cough* breast cancer organization *cough* and donate there… if you ask me.)
4. Did you know that many companies cap how much they donate to the cause? For example, White House Black Market sold an $88 pair of jeans in the name of breast cancer. They said they would donate the “net proceeds.” What does that mean exactly? It means they capped their contributions at $200,000. Any penny after that amount did NOT go to breast cancer. It went into their pocket. Some places have a generous cap, other do not. The thing is, you really just don’t know where in the cap your purchase is.
5. Lastly, some places will sell their products “for the cure.” For example, Fox Home entertainment gave 50 cents of your $15 purchase to the cure. Do you feel that is a just amount or a paltry amount? If you feel it is the latter you might as well give directly to the cause.