, Salem, MA


October 24, 2012

Going 'pink' not about the green

Local businesses mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month


Danehy purchased a stock of wooden plant boxes with a photo cube on each side, one of which contains a pink ribbon. For $19.95, customers can buy pink cyclamen flowers in these pots, $5 of which will be donated to breast cancer research.

“It’s a nice, uplifting gift,” Danehy said. “It touches everyone; we all one way or another know someone who is affected by breast cancer.”

According to statistics from the American Cancer Society, 1 in 8 women in America will develop breast cancer during her lifetime. It is the most common form of cancer among women. With individuals, schools and businesses becoming more aware and supportive of the fight against breast cancer, it is no surprise that the pink ribbon has become so widely used.

However, some people are wary of the current pink trend. The advocacy organization Breast Cancer Action tells people to “Think Before You Pink,” warning consumers about “pinkwashing,” when a company or organization uses the pink ribbon on its merchandise but continues to use chemicals or sell products that are linked to breast cancer. The companies might do this to help increase their bottom line.

On the local level, however, supporting breast cancer awareness is not necessarily a business-motivated decision, as in the case of Beverly Cleaners and Curran Brothers.

After buying the pink ribbon flower pots for around $12 each, offering free delivery in Danvers and donating $5 to breast cancer research, Danehy says he just about breaks even with his pink product.

“We don’t make anything off it,” Danehy said. “But I don’t know if that’s really what it’s designed to do.”

Phan would agree with him. He says that his business is not about making money, it’s about making friends. And supporting the fight against breast cancer is just one way of doing that.

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