When we talk about pink color, what is on your mind? I guess one of it will be pinkwashing? Pinkwashing is a term that used to describe companies that position themselves as leaders in the fight against breast cancer while engaging in practices that may be contributing to rising rates of the disease (The campaign for safe cosmetics 2011). Today, the numbers of breast cancer patients are increasing compared with 10 years ago. According to Lubitow and Davis (2011), ‘a woman in the United States has a one in eight chance of being diagnosed with the disease and nearly 40,000 women die each year’. In order to create awareness of breast cancer, a lot of campaigns were held in many countries to make everyone aware of breast cancer.
A lot of companies use this chance to come out with their marketing strategy by using the pink color to sell their products during the Breast Cancer Awareness month, October. Any company can put a pink ribbon on its product. Companies that are contributes on the pinkwashing usually will give a portion of an item’s cost to a breast cancer organization to research on breast cancer. Do you know how much money from your purchases will go to support the breast cancer program? For instance, Dansko Shoe Company sold pink ribbon clogs. Their customers thought that a portion of their purchases will go to the breast cancer program. However, none of the portion of the money will go to the program. It is because they already set the amount of $25,000 will be donated to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure (Think before you pink). In this case, this company is actually being dishonest to their customers. At the same time, they are not concern about the breast cancer awareness campaign as well. They just want to show their customers that they are supportive with the breast cancer campaign but actually they are not.
Other than that, the products that were sold are majority contain chemicals that have linked to breast cancer (Melgren 2011). Like the video posted above, although those companies are raising fund and donate for the breast cancer campaign but the content of their product is the one that link to breast cancer. Those companies care for their products and profits rather than women’s health. So, the result will be the same. The numbers of breast cancer patients will still increasing each year.
One question that we can consider, do we really need the product or just buying it to support the breast cancer research? Thus, think it twice before you buy the product so your money will not be waste and spend in a wrong way.
Lubitow, A & Davis, M 2011, ‘Pastel Injustice: the corporate use of pinkwashing for profit’, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 139-144.
‘Before you buy pink’ Think before you Pink, accessed 11/4/2013, from http://thinkbeforeyoupink.org/?page_id=13
Melgren S 2011, ‘Natural health’, Mother Earth Living, accessed 11/4/2013, from http://www.motherearthliving.com/natural-health/pinkwashing-think-pink-breast-cancer-awareness-month.aspx
‘Pink – Ribbon Cosmetics’ 2011, The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, accessed 11/4/2013, from http://safecosmetics.org/article.php?id=749