Avon Products Inc.

20-Plus Years of Fighting Breast Cancer

Bringing the company's vision to life ... 

First Avon pink ribbon pinThousands of shades of pink have comprised Avon’s palettes for blush, lipstick and eye shadow over the years. But the most important hue is the one representing the company’s fight against breast cancer.

2012 marked the 20th year of the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade. For more than 125 years, Avon has been dedicated to improving the lives of women. Because a woman cannot truly be empowered if her health or safety is at risk, Avon’s commitment to fighting breast cancer has been an integral component in empowering millions of women around the globe for the past two decades. 

Creation of a Crusade
Avon’s Breast Cancer Crusade was launched in the U.K. in 1992 to bring the company’s vision to life. At the time, not many people talked openly about breast cancer. Through Avon’s sales channel, an army of Representatives was mobilized to raise awareness and funds for the cause. And so the Crusade was born, starting with the sale of a breast cancer awareness pin (pictured above to the left). Proceeds from pin sales were donated to Breakthrough, a British organization which needed funding to build a center for breast cancer research.

The Walks: “259 Times Around the Globe”Avon Walk for Breast Cancer participants
In 1998, the Avon Foundation was named the beneficiary of the first long-distance walk series for breast cancer. Five years later, the Foundation launched its current highly successful event model in the U.S.: the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, a marathon-and-half walk (39.3 miles) over two days. Since the start of the Avon Walk a decade ago, participants have supported critical community outreach and education, raising awareness about breast cancer and the importance of early detection. Year after year, the Walk continues to pick up the pace:

  • Through 2013, Avon Walkers had collectively circumnavigated the globe more than 259 times, or 6.25 million miles
  • More than 14,000 breast cancer survivors had participated
  • And more than 192,000 people had walked or served on "crew"

Making Strides Outside the U.S.
In 2005, the company started the Avon Walk Around the World For Breast Cancer series, bringing grassroots activism to a global scale. Walk Around the World mobilizes a quarter of a million people each year for the breast cancer cause. This “Walk” sometimes includes runs, concerts and educational seminars. World Walkers have trekked past diverse locales and historic sites, including the Great Wall of China, the Kremlin, Kuala Lumpur and Prague.

Avon's human pink ribbon chain in Saudia Arabia
Avon Saudi Arabia creates a human pink ribbon

Avon Breast Cancer Crusade Today
Today, the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade is a powerful global force: Avon is the leading corporate supporter of the breast cancer cause worldwide. The Crusade has donated more than $815 million to accelerate research progress and improve access to care. Its impact has been far and wide-reaching:

  • Linking more than 18 million women around the globe to early detection programs and mammography screenings.
  • Educating more tha 145 million women on breast health
  • Expanding into more than 50 countries
  • Enabling access to care for underserved populations
  • Providing more than $200 million to breast cancer research projects since 1999
  • Creating Love/Avon Army of Women, a program designed to accelerate the pace of prevention research by enlisting more than 350,000 women (potential study volunteers) for this effort.

Fighting Until the Crusade Becomes Obsolete
Beauty trends come and go, but pink will continue to be a critical color for Avon and the lives of millions of women around the globe. Avon and the Avon Foundation for Women will fight until there is an end to breast cancer … and the Crusade becomes truly obsolete.