Buy Leggings, Fight Breast Cancer: How One Brand is Leading the Fight to Fund Breast Cancer Research
October is breast cancer awareness month, and as we round out the final day of the month, I wanted to remind you that Girlfriend Collective (a new-ish activewear start-up designed by Lululemon and Acne Studios vets) still has their Dusty Rose collection up for grabs. This is one of those purchases you can feel really good about, since 100% of the proceeds will go directly to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. What's even more awesome is that both the bra and leggings have a perfect compression with a minimal and flattering cut that looks cute AF whether you're lounging our lunging. Of course, the real reason why the collection should be in your closet? That goes beyond looks or performance. According to breastcancer.org, one out of every eight women will experience some sort of invasive breast cancer in her lifetime. And for that 12% of women who do develop breast cancer, in the United States breast cancer death rates are higher than that of any other cancer. These are some seriously scary numbers. And while determining what exactly causes breast cancer and what a permanent cure or solution looks like is something we may never fully arrive at in my lifetime, funding breast cancer research helps us find out as much as possible about this disease so we can treat it and prevent it with the best of our abilities. By purchasing one or more of these items, you're literally giving your money to a company whose ethical production practices are only matched by their dedication to eradicating breast cancer through funding research and advocacy work.
Like many philanthropic initiatives, this one is of personal import for the Girlfriend Collective fam. Last summer, the mother of GC's Creative Producer, Tori, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. (Read her inspiring story on their blog here.) After battling ocular cancer early in life, Debbie Jenner Culp mustered up all of her courage and resolve to fight her scariest battle. After a mastectomy, 6 months of chemotherapy, and the start of a 5-10 year hormone-blocking treatment for good measure, Debbie is currently cancer-free and now a two-time cancer survivor. Her story of bravery amidst the unknown was the inspiration and the impetus for making the Dusty Rose line of activewear the collection for BCRF.
Girlfriend Collective has always been an extremely equitable brand. Their clothing is made of 79% recycled polyester from used plastic water bottles, and they have always been dedicated to empowering women through activity and wellness. But their journey towards becoming a leader in Breast Cancer Research philanthropy is one that puts them well above the bar of any similar competitor. To date, their generous donations during the month of October 2017 alone have raised over $25K for BCRF. Let's help them make that number bigger, shall we? Click through the gallery to shop all five pieces – the final hours in the fight against breast cancer are on!
Breast Cancer Awareness - Mitigate Your Risk
Although we have very little control over the type of suffering or sickness that can befall us during the course of a lifetime, there are some actionable, small and doable lifestyle choices we can make daily that can mitigate our risks. It's never a guarantee, but it is a start you can feel empowered by and feel good about. Plus, the below tips are just plain good wellness tenants that will improve your overall sense of health wellbeing regardless of aim or outcome.
1. Get at least four hours of exercise each week.
The effect of exercise on breast cancer risk may be greatest in premenopausal women who have normal or low body weight. Over the course of a week, this looks like 35 minutes a day of sustained physical activity. Think taking a brisk walk, doing some home practice yoga in the morning, or running around your neighborhood for the same amount of time it takes to watch an episode of "Fixer Upper."
2. Limit the amount of alcohol you drink to 7 drinks per week, or no more than 1 per day.
The general recommendation from the National Cancer Institute— based on research on the effect of alcohol on breast cancer risk — is to limit yourself to less than 1 drink per day as even small amounts increase risk. If like me you are more of a social drinker and drink at parties or on the weekends, think of it like a weekly total of seven drinks. So if you have two at happy hour with the co-workers on Friday and three on Saturday with your guy on date night, you shouldn't have more than two during Sunday's brunch. Again, find the way that works for your lifestyle.
3. Get regular mammograms. (Schedule them with your yearly pap smear, ladies!)
Schedule these at the beginning of the year like you would a hair or dentist appointment. It's a good idea to combine these with your yearly pap smear. If you are a member of a high-risk group, consider getting one every six months.
4. Limit the amount of estrogen and xenoestrogens your body is exposed to through foods, beverages, medications, personal care products, and the environment.
This is a whole post on it's own! Look for a list coming soon in the following weeks here at Western Daughter. This is something I have been investigating and reading more about recently, and I am excited to share what I have learned with you.
5. Breastfeed your children
If you have kids or are planning on having them, breastfeeding has a whole host of benefits for both your baby's health as well as your own. One awesome benefit of breastfeeding is that estrogen levels may remain lower while a woman is breast-feeding. Women who breastfed have a lower risk of breast cancer than women who have had children but did not breastfeed.
6. Keep a healthy weight.
Keeping a healthy weight is a good practice to get into for many reasons, and one of them is that keeping a normal weight decreases your risk of developing breast cancer, as obesity increases the risk of breast cancer, especially in postmenopausal women who have not used hormone replacement therapy.
7. Eat Like an Italian
Eating a Mediterranean diet, while overall just being plain good for you, also helps you flush excess estrogen from the body. The whole grains and cruciferous vegetables in a mediterranean diet, (perhaps because of their added fiber,) help you excrete excess estrogen, which is removed via regular bowel movements. Sorry, kinda gross but "thems the facts!"
8. Avoid endocrine disruptors in personal care products, especially body washes, soaps, lotions, and deodorants.
Your skin is a porous, absorbent organ. Additionally, one of the biggest group of lymph nodes in the body exist in your underarms. The lymph nodes carry lymphatic fluid throughout the entire body, but one of their first pit-stops are your mammary glands. So, if you're still using deodorants with aluminum or the evilness that is talcum powder (in most circles known to cause cancer and to carry other health risks, even though others haven't come out to say just so yet) STOP – STOP IT RIGHT NOW. Replace with natural deodorants and soaps without these known bad hombres.
Something else to consider:
According to the National Cancer Institute, the jury is still out on whether taking oral contraceptives increases one's risk of breast cancer. Some studies have shown that they may increase the risk, whereas others show no difference in risk if you take the pill. The reason for the debate: Oral contraceptives increase the amount of estrogen made in the body, one of the risk factors leading to breast cancer. Other progestin-only methods of birth control that can be injected or implanted do not appear to increase the risk of breast cancer. More studies are needed in order to determine if progestin-only oral contraceptives decrease the risk of breast cancer.