It’s that time of year again.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, a time when people should be gaining awareness about breast cancer and learning how to fight it. Instead, the month has become a corporate playground for companies who seek to gain profit from innocent customers buying any products with a pink ribbon on them.
This process, coined as “pinkwashing” by the nonprofit Breast Cancer Action, has made it difficult for shoppers with good intentions to know where their money is really going. Over the last few years, everything from kitchen appliances to KFC chicken buckets has been pinkwashed.
Here are some tips you can use when determining whether to fall for that pink ribbon:
1. Determine where the funds will be donated to.
Oftentimes, a product will have no more than a general message stating that a portion of proceeds will go towards breast cancer research. How much of a portion? What type of research? If a product is not more specific in its dedication to breast cancer fundraising, the company may not be dedicated at all.
2. See if the company has met its cap yet.
Most companies will set a cap for the amount they will donate to breast cancer research, but still continue to sell their pink products once this cap is reached. If a company has reached their cap, your money will only go towards their profits. Do some quick research and find out how long the product has been sold and if the cap has been met.
3. Use some common sense.
If the product being sold wouldn’t normally benefit breast cancer research, such as this gun, it probably isn’t a good company to give your charity to. The pink ribbon symbol is unregulated, leading harmful products like the gun or the KFC buckets to use it. Give your money wisely.
Remember these tips and be a conscious consumer.