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They look like the old fashioned swimming bands which are worn around the wrist with your locker key on the end.  However, these bands have proved to be one of the biggest trends in accessories since the pin badges and the notorious ‘shag bands’. Kyrsty Hazell reports on this growing trend and whether we are all wearing these bands for the right cause.


Over 300,000 custom made silicone bands have been shipped over to the UK within the last 5 months and are continuing to be stocking up daily for a further thousand. Oxford Street Nike retail shop, Britain’s biggest, run out of stock daily and have had to put limits on how many you can buy at one time.  Nike has raised millions of pounds for the charity it represents and has caused a phenomenon amongst British fashionistas.



It all started with Nike supporting a cancer foundation set up by a man called Lance Armstrong.  He set up the LAF (Lance Armstrong Foundation) as he himself was a survivor of cancer and wanted other cancer sufferers to ‘Live strong’.  The yellow coloured bands with ‘LIVESTRONG’ emblazoned on them proved to be popular and it was reported that they sold a record of 382,000 wristbands in one day. These little wristbands are now sold in 50 different states in over 60 other countries. Teenagers everywhere have been sporting their bands and causing a trend amongst the streets.



Nike has introduced many other colours of bands which also represent a charity such as the most recent black and white bands.  Nike has joined up with the football industry and used high profile football personalities in their adverts to support the black and white bands.  The ‘Stand up Speak up’ campaign is all about standing up against racism in football and has gain a lot of support, especially from the fashion hungry teenagers who want to have the latest coloured band.  Footballers such as Rio Ferdinand support the campaign and urge the supporters to stand up against racism and to wear the bands as a representation of your morals.  However, it is clear by the soaring sales of these bands, that the people buying them may only be updating their collection of bands rather than showing their support.



It seems that Nike has not only started a trend amongst the teenage population, but amongst other charities as well.  Charities such as Cystic Fibrosis (purple), Anti Bullying (blue) and Breast Cancer (pink) have also produced coloured bands.  Although this is a great way in raising money for these organisations and it undoubtedly helps researchers fund their work, there are many people who feel that the Stand Up Speak Up campaign is a money making scam.

Nike have supported anti racism campaigns for a while and with them being a favourite choice amongst young Brits, they are a great candidate for raising money for a good cause. 


However, many believe that if they really disagreed with racism and equal rights they would stop using child slave labour to produce the products that they are so famous in producing.  The reason Nike are a multi million pound company is because of their quality sports clothes and training equipment.  However, what the consumer doesn’t realise is that Nike have been targeted by anti globalisation groups for years about their use of child labour in Europe.



Many also oppose to it because it has started another craze on the internet shopping and swapping website, eBay.  People are buying the bands for a mere £1.50 and then putting them on eBay for £15 plus on the internet.  This means that the person selling these bands is making money out of something which is meant to be for a charitable cause.


However, nevertheless the bands have made a lot of money for charity and will probably continue to for the next year, or at least until something more ‘cool’ comes along.  So by all means buy the band to show your support for cancer and anti racism.


Visit the www.wearyellow.com <http://www.wearyellow.com> or www.standupspeakup.com <http://www.standupspeakup.com> or the Nike website for further information on upcoming campaigns.


Kyrsty Hazell

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