Every October, brands start rolling out their pink ribboned products, promising anywhere from 5 to 100 percent of proceeds to breast cancer research, education and patients. There’s pink phone chargers, pink purses, pink oven mitts—at one point, there was a pink KFC fried chicken bucket. But breast cancer awareness and support doesn’t necessarily need to come coated in shades of pink. For the second year in a row, H&M Canada and Rethink Breast Cancer, the young women’s breast cancer movement, have teamed up to create a five piece limited-edition T-shirt collection. And chances are, you’re going to see people wearing them after November 1.
“I really wanted to create art that raised awareness around breast cancer while still being t-shirts I would wear every day,” says Quinn Rockliff, the 22-year-old Toronto artist who illustrated the designs. Through dynamic line figures and vibrant watercolour textures, Rockliff, an MFA candidate at OCADu, explores sexuality and empowerment. “Most people still equate nudity with sexuality,” she says, “but in a time where images are shared so freely, and often without consent or context, I’m trying to get people to think critically about the link between those two things.”
For the Rethink Breast Cancer and H&M collection, Rockliff set out to create something that serves as a reminder to self and signifier to others to make proactive decisions surrounding breast health. Each of the T-shirts retails for $17.99, with 100% of the proceeds going to Rethink Breast Cancer. Which means you should probably just buy one of each.
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