During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, stores fill up with all kinds of pink products. While snagging pink toothbrushes, pink tote bags, and even pink sunglasses can feel like an effective way to promote breast cancer awareness and raise necessary funds to fight the disease, this isn't always the case. Here are a few questions to consider before you buy pink items:
Do a portion of the proceeds actually go to breast cancer charities?
It's easy to assume that all regular products that have been turned pink are automatically tied to breast cancer awareness, and therefore raise money for related charities. In reality, this isn't always true. Unfortunately, some brands have tried to profit off of the pink craze. Before you make a purchase, find out which portion of the proceeds go to charity. If you can't tell, consider donating directly instead.
What exactly does the charitable organization do?
Even if you're sure that the product you're buying helps to benefit a worthy cause, take some time to figure out what that charity is all about. You want to make sure that your own views are in line with the organization's. You always want to verify that the group is legitimate. It could sound great, but you want to make sure that the money isn't just going to an individual.
What's in the product?
Before you make a purchase, check the ingredients in the product. If you're buying a face wash, for example, does it contain ingredients you aren't familiar with? In some instances, these can cause cancer, so you're trying to stop the disease and are inadvertently buying a product that could lead to it.
Is there a limit to the number of donations?
Brands like the NFL and Reebok came under fire for selling pink products, but not making it clear that there was a cap on how much money they would donate to cancer charities. Before you purchase a pink product, find out how much money will be given to charity. Has the company hit that amount already?
It's always nice when you can purchase a product that also helps to give back to charity, but before you buy an item simply because it's pink, make sure you know exactly where your money is going. This allows you to properly use your money to support breast cancer charities.
Lauren Levine is a freelance writer who has contributed to publications and websites including The Charlotte Observer, U.S. News & World Report, American Way magazine, The Huffington Post, Hello Giggles, Bustle, Thrillist, Thought Catalog, and others.