It’s always with mixed feelings that we welcome October, the start of the media blitz that is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM). On the one hand, we’re grateful for the increased awareness around breast cancer-related issues and the uptick in efforts to raise money for the cause. But then there’s the “pinkwashing” factor – the rose-colored hue that brands adorn on their products in efforts to elevate their image or convey a sense of health-oriented compassion. Some are well-intended, educating their customer base, or generously donating a portion of proceeds to well-deserving research or service organizations. But others are either only tangentially connected to breast cancer, or worse, have the gall to slap pink ribbons on products that are in fact carcinogenic themselves. Don’t get us wrong, we appreciate the light that gets shone on breast cancer in October, especially as diagnoses seem to be appearing with ever more frequency, but amidst this flowing sea of pink and fuchsia ribbons, how do we really know where to spend our dollars?
Did you know that NBCAM was originally created by a drug company that not only produced breast cancer treatment drugs but also profited from the sale of a herbicide known to cause cancer? That is why activists took it upon themselves to reclaim October, renaming it Breast Cancer Industry Month, in the hopes of educating the public on how corporations use the cause to their advantage and refocusing energies on preventing the disease.1
As consumers and philanthropists, it’s hard to know where to allocate our giving, especially when the cause holds so much meaning and we feel strongly about contributing in some way. So this year, we thought we’d highlight a few of our favorite nonprofits that are truly making a difference in the breast cancer world. Check them out, attend their events or consider sending in a check to support their important missions. We’ll be doing the same!
Quantum Leap Healthcare Collaborative: Founded by world-renowned surgeon and researcher Dr. Laura Esserman, MD, MBA, Quantum Leap is a 501c(3) charitable organization dedicated to integrating high impact research with clinical care to improve and save lives. Areas of focus include clinical trials, maximizing patient access to relevant clinical and research studies and streamlining data collection and management. By bridging the gap between research and clinical care, Quantum Leap works in collaboration with patients, medical researchers at the University of California, other academic centers nationwide, healthcare innovators and stakeholders – to accelerate learning in medicine, improve the delivery of healthcare, create better outcomes for patients and increase quality of life.
Breast Cancer Action’s mission is to achieve health justice for all women at risk of and living with breast cancer. One of the most outspoken organizations against pinkwashing, BCA aims to put patients before profits in FDA advocacy and screening, create healthy environments and end inequities that lead to disparities in health outcomes. If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area, consider attending or donating to their annual Action Speaks Louder than Pink – Food for Thought event on October 16.
The Foundation for Living Beauty provides free support services to women living with cancer through wellness retreats, educational workshops and support events. If you’re in the LA or Pasadena Area, consider making a donation to this worthy organization or attending their powerful, impactful events.
Breast Cancer Prevention Partners: For over 25 years, BCPP has been the leading science-based policy and advocacy organization, working to prevent breast cancer by eliminating exposure to toxic chemicals and radiation. Focusing on the intersection of breast cancer prevention and environmental health, they are helping to promote cleaner cosmetics and personal care products through the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. To support their efforts, join the Everviolet team at their annual Peak Hike in Mill Valley, CA – a 7-mile tour of Mt. Tamalpais on October 20.
Breast Cancer Emergency Fund: We are proud to be a sponsor of this year’s This Old Bag event held by the BCEF in San Francisco. BCEF provides emergency financial assistance to low-income women and men battling breast cancer, enabling them to continue vital treatments and maintain utilities and safe housing. An evening of fun and philanthropy, the proceeds of each bag go toward supporting their mission. Buy your tickets now!
Bright Pink helps save lives from breast and ovarian cancer by empowering women to know their risk and manage their health proactively. During the month of October, Everviolet will donate a portion of sales of our Maia Camisole in Mauve to this worthy charity – helping support their mission to educate young women as well as their health providers to be empowered about health and prevention tactics. Check out their Shop Brightly page to shop product and support this important organization in Chicago.
Breast Cancer Healthline is an app designed for people facing breast cancer at all stages. It provides daily group discussions led by a BCH guide on topics related to treatment, lifestyle, career, relationships, new diagnoses and living with stage 4 diagnoses. Everviolet founder Keira Kotler will be participating in a panel discussion on October 5 on “Advocacy in the Breast Cancer Community” at the BCH offices in San Francisco. RSVP for free and see the full agenda here.
Even though we’ll all likely need a break from the color pink come November, there are many meaningful ways to make a difference in the breast cancer world. We are proud to be partnering with such important organizations, and hopefully, by knowing where our dollars are actually going, we can all feel better about supporting the events of Pinktober.
“For it is in giving that we receive.” – St. Francis of Assisi