I feel empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity – Angelina Jolie.
Every fifteen seconds, somewhere in the world, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer (GLOBOCAN, 2018). That is a phenomenal statistic and you can never fathom that volume, no matter how many stories you read or how many times you hear it on the radio or see it on the telly. Sometimes, I can’t even comprehend that cancer is still a thing in our daily lives because of the amount of people we have working around the clock to try and fight this disease off for good. Nevertheless, people are coming back fighting. Charities are raising millions. Brands, both luxury and high are raising awareness. More and more people are talking about it openly instead of keeping it a secret. People are coming together in groups to support one another, to say “It happened to me too.” It is an incredible power to reclaim against cancer, an emotional one and one that gives a big middle finger to the disease that takes so many lives.
Today is the day that the world turns pink in honour of breast cancer awareness. I wanted to share some of the brands that I have seen creating beautiful items and donating sums of money to breast cancer charities across the globe. Thinking of Christmas presents? Yep, I said it. Thinking of treating yourself to something stunning? Perhaps one of the following items will tickle your interest and you will automatically donate to an amazing cause that helps men, women and children, medical labs and researchers worldwide beat breast cancer for good.
GIRL VS. CANCER
Lauren Mahon is the woman behind Girl vs. Cancer – the shop, the movement and the community. She is a breast cancer survivor, a young one at that, and saw to creating a space that was for like-minded people like her, who wanted to talk to other people going through the same thing in a way that was less clinical and more normal. It is now an incredible part of the online community and has edged into mainstream media. She is a “force to be reckoned with” (Suitcase Magazine) and she is only just getting started. I scrolled through the Girl vs. Cancer Tit-Tees last year, thinking how cool the concept was and how she had turned the iconic white tee into something even more so with a playful side. However, this year I wanted to do my part and buy something that would represent the women who had survived breast cancer, who had suffered and who are going through the dreadful disease. I wanted to stand loud and proud in a Girl vs. Cancer t-shirt that is beautifully designed in its simplicity and its integrity. 25% of every single purchase is donated to Girl vs. Cancer partner charities that include Coppafeel, Future Dreams, Trek Stock and Look Good Feel Better. That is a healthy chunk of money going straight into the pockets of incredible charities that grind every single day in order to help people with cancer keep on fighting and survive.
Evelyn H. Lauder is the woman who co-created the Pink Ribbon and founded The Estée Lauder Companies’ Breast Cancer Campaign alongside the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) in 1992. For those who don’t know her connection to the esteemed Lauder family, she is the beauty matriarch’s daughter-in-law, but she is the pioneer of the charity that has raised more than $350 million for breast cancer in the U.S. Now, The Campaign continues to thrive worldwide. This year, The Estée Lauder Companies’ have created a box filled with goodies from across the board. I’ll be honest; the main reason I bought this beautiful box of goodies was for the sole reason of buying something that donated to Breast Cancer charities. Each £25 box sold donates a fabulous £15 to the cause. That is an incredible percentage of money and certainly a brand that I will be backing in the future. It is an added bonus that I have gorgeous new beauty items to play with. Included in this #TimeToEndBreastCancer gift box is the following: Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II (7ml), Estée Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Last Multiplying Volume Mascara (2.8ml), Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm (15ml), Origins GinZing Ultra-Hydrating Energy-Boosting Cream (15ml), Bobbi Brown Crushed Lip Color (Babe, 2.25g), Bumble and Bumble Prêt-à-powder Très Invisible Dry Shampoo (60ml), Smashbox Photo Finish Smooth & Blur Primer (12ml), GlamGlow GlowLace Radiance-Boosting Hydration Sheet Mask. I will definitely be enjoying some me-time a little bit more with these products!
GHD have been raising money for UK charity Breast Cancer Now for 15 years. Already, they’ve raised over £9 million which is just phenomenal. This year, they have partnered with the talented mastectomy tattoo artist David Allen who creates beautiful artwork for those who have suffered physically, mentally and emotionally He gives something back to survivors which is more than a piece of ink; he gives them back control. For 2019’s Ink on Pink campaign, David Allen has intricately designed two charity stylers: the Gold and the Platinum. Of the partnership, he says “The connection… makes sense. When I work with my clients, it takes time, we build back their confidence together and these incredible women open up to me. Much like the time you spend with your hair stylist, the intimacy and power of transformation is akin to one another” (Marie Claire). £10 from each sale is donated to Breast Cancer Now.
On 1st October this year, Vans launched their exclusive collection of footwear, clothing and accessories in collaboration with CoppaFeel! – UK-based breast cancer charity founded by Kris Hallenga in 2009 after she was diagnosed at the age of twenty-three. She claims that this collaboration is “a dream come true” (Hypebeast) and it is an insane collection that sees a combination of designs that evoke awareness and modern style. An amalgamation of cartoon bodies in their beautiful forms with and without mastectomies adorn some footwear, whilst there are slogans with “You Got This” and checks of various skin tones on other clothing. Each is in brand with Vans and a vivid tribute to those who have fought, have survived and unfortunately lost their lives to this dreadful disease. Plus, it spreads awareness to a whole new audience of people, some of which may not have ever come into contact with breast cancer through their own history or someone they know and love. Vans are donating at least £160,000 of the proceeds to CoppaFeel! with the collection that is available for men, women and children. If I could afford some Vans right now, I would definitely invest in a pair of these!
I had never heard of Lounge Underwear before I saw their free breast cancer packs go viral on Instagram where they “sold out” (freebie, so not a sell-out, but you get what I mean) in less than two hours! I was going to try and get my hands on one, but by the time I got around to it in the evening, they had announced their apologies. It is an incredible initiative. They gave away thousands of pink thongs alongside a booklet that gave information on how to check your breasts for cancer. Not only that, but each week on their website, they share a wonderful woman’s personal cancer story. There are writers and photographers, women who have had mastectomies and bouts of radio and chemotherapy. There are students and charity workers, all of whom are young, in their twenties and thirties, further breaking the stigma that cancer only affects men and women who are older. There is an information page full of guidelines on how to feel your breasts, and a donation page on the Lounger Underwear site that allows you to give as little as £1 and all proceedings go to CoppaFeel! and Trekstock.
A final note to say, make sure you check your breasts on the regular. Stand in the mirror. Have a feel. Make sure that everything is A-OK and get on with your day. It is not just hereditary like most people think. In fact, I read that 85% of diagnosis are in people who have family zero history cancer. It can happen to anyone regardless of status, race, religion. Our bodies are crazy things, so look out for yourself and if you do find something you’re worried about (or anything at all!), make an appointment. Don’t wait. Your life isn’t worth risking.
If you’ve been affected by breast cancer, or cancer of any kind, Macmillan nurses are incredible human beings that are with you every step of the way. They deserve the world and more.
Love, Faye xo