Friday, October 11, 2013

PINKWASHING - The Ugly side of Pink ribbon Cosmetics.

Think October and you get a picture of Navratri/Dusshera's festivity, fun and frolic. Now, think Cosmetics in October and you are going to get a picture of people posting 'Pink pout selfies' or 'pink coloured ootds' and definitely: "Pink ribbons" on "pink coloured cosmetics".Yes,'October' is the official "Breast cancer awareness month" and that's why this month is even called as 

Previously, we talked about Greenwashing and today you are going to see the  
pink side of it!

Breast cancer is a fatal disease that  affects millions of women worldwide. Now, how couldn't we expect the cosmetic industry to dip their dirty fingers or...should i say 'dirty cosmetics' in this issue and make a profit out of it???

So,let us talk a little about a very important issue called...

So,what is pinkwashing?

Yes, that is what 'pinkwashing' exactly means.The cosmetic companies come up with a 'pink ribbon' collection at this time of the year and claims to care about breast cancer even while using Carcinogens, Hormone disruptors and other toxic ingredients in the making of their "Pink" products.

To sell these products they use marketing strategies that play to consumer's emotions.Consumers feel that they are supporting a great cause by buying those products.But for the cosmetic companies its just about making profit.This is called pure profit targeted "Cause marketing" where the companies claim to donate so and so percentage of the total sales to an organisation but the largest chunk of it goes in to their own mouth.

I agree.

Here's a little info graphic which shows us the true face of the money-minded cosmetic companies.

According to the surveys, as many as 9 in 10 cases of breast cancer have no family history (i.e., they are not genetic) and may be caused by a variety of environmental exposures, like hormone disruptors in everyday products. The use of hormone disruptors is not uncommon in the cosmetics industry, and is not prohibited or regulated by the law in many countries (Including India). 
Read these postsThe game of cosmetic regulation Cosmetic regulatory bodies of India and USA.

So, the majority of research, market ideology, and activist campaigns must shift to preventing women from getting the disease whenever possible, rather than treating women once they have it.

So, people, It's time to follow the Old but Gold saying: "Prevention is better than cure".

Here's another handy infographic.

And here's an interesting but  Shocking  piece of info regarding the "history of the pink ribbon":
The pink ribbon was originally neither pink nor was it intended to be used as a marketing tool. It was a peach ribbon developed in the early 1990s by Charlotte Haley, who watched her daughter, sister and grandmother suffer from breast cancer. Angry and determined to start a grassroots movement, Charlotte sat down at her dining room table and crafted thousands of peach ribbons by hand. She bundled them into sets of five, each with a card that read: “The National Cancer Institute annual budget is $1.8 billion; only 5 percent goes for cancer prevention.” She distributed the bundles at her local supermarket and wrote to Dear Abby and other prominent women to call attention to the campaign.

At that time, breast cancer was just starting to come out of the closet, and a couple of major corporations had big plans. "Estee Lauder" and "Self magazine" teamed up to create the second annual Breast Cancer Awareness Month issue, and they envisioned a breast cancer ribbon displayed on cosmetics counters from coast to coast. But somebody already had a breast cancer ribbon, they were told. So, they called up Charlotte Haley offering to partner with her and take her "peach ribbon national".

“She wanted nothing to do with us. Said we were too commercial,” Self magazine editor Alexandra Penney explained to MAMM magazine. 

For Charlotte, the ribbon was a tool to inspire women to become politically active, not to sell products. But her vision was not to be realized. Estee Lauder and Self really wanted that ribbon. Their lawyers advised them to choose another color. They chose pink, a life-affirming color known for its calming, quieting, stress-reducing effects.

So that’s where the pink ribbon was born. And Charlotte Haley’s peach ribbon just kind of disappeared, inundated under pink ribbons ever after. -Excerpt from “Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry,” by Stacy Malkan.

So,form there on the 'ribbon' sort of lost its original purpose and turned in to a 
commercial "money making tool".

So,ladies...let us just not get lured by this pink bait anymore. Let us think beyond just flashing Pink pouts and buying toxic pink ribbon cosmetics. 

As much as possible, try to avoid using and promoting cosmetics laden with toxic ingredients.

If you really want to support this cause, you better make the donation directly to any non-profit organisation or look out for truly natural cosmetic companies who may take this initiative genuinely.

I downloaded the images and backgrounds online and edited them with text and effects to suit this post.

Original image's source: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7-i made it,8 and 9.


  1. Good effort... Keep going ra.... :* :)

  2. rubbish companies - never knew abt this - thanks for enlightening me

    1. True that jayanthi. Everyone needs to know about these rubbish giants.

  3. thrashy companies always feeding their own mouths
    will never blindly trust such gimmicks now on
    thanks dear

    1. That seems to be their ultimate goal! :-/ Thank you so much for deciding not to support them aishwarya :)