Legitimate Ways to Pay It Forward for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Pay it forward for breast cancer awarenessBreast cancer awareness month brings out a variety of emotions. Some people love seeing the floods of pink and jump right in on the trend. Others are more skeptical, wondering what all this pink is really doing to help the cause.

Many companies have jumped on the bandwagon too, and consumers may want to use caution when purchasing breast cancer awareness products during October. If you just love pink and want to purchase an item, then by all means, go for it. If you purchase an item regularly that is donating a portion of proceeds during October, then it is a win-win situation. Yet if you are making a purchase specifically to help the cause, then you may want to err on the side of caution. I prefer items that donate no less than 20-25% of net proceeds (and preferably more) to a cause, depending on the price point of the item. Anything less than that, at least in my opinion, is pinkwashing.

Equally as important to me is what I am buying. For instance, why would I buy a pink-branded product (or any product, for that matter) that is laden with chemicals or carcinogens? How is that possibly helping the cause?

I also look at pricing of the products. Sure, there are many that donate a portion of the proceeds to breast cancer awareness and research, but they also bump up the cost of the item by the percentage that is being donated, or more.

If you are looking for a way to buy pink-branded products, here are some interesting and authentic ideas. If you have suggestions of more please do not hesitate to leave them in the comments.

  • On October 10th, QVC is hosting its 20th annual FFANY Shoes on Sale event. Hundreds of pairs of shoes will be sold at a deep discount and a portion of the proceeds from every sale will benefit breast cancer charities. Tune in from 6-9 pm EST or head over to: http://www.qvc.com/FFANY.
  • The simple act of changing your wiper blades can change a life. AutoTex PINK is also a woman-owned and created company that is among the nation’s leading suppliers of windshield wipers. The wipers come in standard black with a pink ribbon and in full pink to make a bolder statement. AutoTex Pink is an official partner of the National Breast Cancer Foundation. A whopping 85% of AutoTex PINK’s proceeds directly support breast cancer research, give out educational information about breast cancer, and provide free mammograms to those who can’t afford them. http://www.autotexwipers.com/collections/autotex-pink-wiper-blades
  • You can bid on NFL game worn merchandise from your favorite player or team at http://www.nflauction.nfl.com/. 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the game worn items go to the American Cancer Society.  They aren’t cheap though, so these may make a great holiday gift for your favorite football fan. You can also purchase NFL team pink merchandise at http://www.nflshop.com/Breast_Cancer_Awareness_Gear/. A portion of the proceeds of these purchases is donated to breast cancer charities. Please note, however, that the percentage donated varies by brand.
  • The Ford Motor Company has been active in the fight against breast cancer since 1993 and has dedicated more than $120 million to the cause. In 2006, Ford introduced its Warriors in Pink line of apparel and accessories. 100% of the net proceeds are donated to breast cancer charities. To make a purchase, go to: http://www.warriorsinpink.ford.com/
  • Think handmade. There are many sellers on Etsy, for example, who make items and donate a portion or all of the proceeds to a breast cancer charity. I am a mad fan of these fingerless gloves by Sincerely April and 100% of the proceeds benefit breast cancer. Funkymonkeythreads makes adorable onesies and donates 50% of the proceeds to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. As a mom of boys, I love the one that says, “Real Boys Wear Pink.”
  • Avoid the pink madness all together and donate directly to the cause. Consider the money that might have been donated if you had purchased pink-branded items and write a check to a breast cancer charity that resonates with you. If your company has a donation-matching program consider it a double win for the charity you choose.

How are you supporting the cause this October?


  1. My grandmother had breast cancer so I am always happy to learn of ways to support this cause.

  2. This is such a great post. I feel like there has been such an explosion of pink each October that people forget the real reason – love them term ‘pinkwashing’ too, so true! Donating directly to the cause is my way of supporting the cause.

  3. THANK YOU!! That’s all-just thank you for saying what needed to be said long ago.
    Pink=Pepto. Period.

  4. I so agree on the pink-washing! We must be choosy.

  5. Great post! I definitely think too many people take advantage and push useless stuff. Love all of the products you shared!

  6. What a wonderful and informative post. I never would have thought about all of these things when buying pink items and supporting breast cancer.

  7. I didn’t even think about looking for Etsy sellers that donate.

  8. Wow, I love all of these really helpful tips. It’s great when you can feel good about doing your part while getting something valuable in return.

  9. This coming December marks 1 year since we said goodbye to our friend at the age of 32. Thank you for sharing this!

  10. Thank you for posting this Jessica. These are great things to look out for and wonderful ones to support too!

  11. Thanks for these ideas, Jessica. Such an important topic and it’s nice to have legitimate ways to spread awareness.

  12. You know I really liked all the ideas but your last point really struck home with me. Making an impact directly with the entire amount, not just a percentage. :)

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