According to pinkwashing.org, “pinkwashing” is:
“a term used to describe the activities of companies and groups that position themselves as leaders in the struggle to eradicate breast cancer while engaging in practices that may be contributing to rising rates of the disease.”
While the term is evolving to often be used to describe all self-serving corporate social responsibility campaigns with minimal positive impact to the cause, the original meaning shines a light on even more sinister marketing practices.Estée Lauder, a company whose “pink” campaign we covered yesterday, is a prime example of a brand critiqued as a pinkwasher.
There is another end to the spectrum, however, and that is breast cancer advocates who actively fight the toxic chemical industry. One of them is Non Toxic Revolution, an outreach of the Keep A Breast Foundation (makers of the “I Love Boobies” fundraising bracelets so popular among youth and unpopular among many high school administrators.)
NTR’s mission is to “inform, educate and inspire young people to revolt against the dangers of toxic chemicals in their environment and food supply especially those linked to the initiation of breast cancer. Its aim is to focus on prevention as a means to maintaining long-term health and well-being. NTR also provides alternative choices so that young people everywhere can make smart changes.”
What I haven’t seen are naked celebrities or profiteering merchandise. What I have seen, from this group, is a year-round, long term commitment to serious and science-based education about the small changes we can make in our lives to improve our health and environment. It’s not glamorous, but it is impressive.