The yellow silicone rubber bracelets from the Lance Armstrong Foundation have become a fashion statement to support people living with cancer, in much the way that red ribbons are worn in support of people with AIDS and pink ribbons are worn in support of people with breast cancer.
It was inevitable that this idea would be copied. Popeye's Chicken and Biscuits fast food outlets in the Washington, DC metro area are raising funds for the Children's National Medical Center through the sale of green, gold, and purple silicone rubber bracelets ("Mardi Gras colors") for $1 a piece. Net proceeds go to the hospital, while the purchaser gets a coupon for free meal with meal purchase. Clever idea. The cashier will ask you if you'd like to buy a bracelet in the way she'd ask if you'd like to add a dessert to your order.
The French company alt-go is using the silicone rubber bracelet concept for strictly commercial purposes (select Bijoux/Jewelry). The bracelets come in multiple colors, and have statements such as don't worry ..., be happy ..., Je t'aime (French for "I love you"), sex bomb, sex bomb ...
One doesn't know whether this is sincere imitation, or French contempt toward Lance Armstrong's unprecedented series of wins at the Tour de France. I was disgusted by the picture of the person who had jumped into Lance's path and flipped him the bird.
The Demand Truth Campaign offers a blue rubber bracelet that serves Democratic Party causes.
UPDATE 2005-02-09 Fashion UK notes Oxfam's "Make Poverty History" white canvas bands with black clasps and the Breast Cancer Foundation's pink wristbands.