How the trend began?
The rubber wristbands are available in a variety of colours representing different charities or campaigns. The trend started with the popular yellow band which is inscribed with ‘livestrong’ and was set up by American cyclist Lance Armstrong to raise awareness of cancer.
Lance Armstrong survived cancer to win the Tour De France a record seven years on the run and his yellow wristband has raised around ￡50 million for his charity, which helps young people cope with cancer.
Who is wearing what?
One of the most popular wristbands in the UK is the white ‘make poverty history’ band worn by UK celebrities like Bono, lead singer of U2, and Elton John. Premiership footballers Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand wear the black and white ‘stand up speak up’ bands to combat racism.
The pink breast cancer campaign bands have seen an increase in sales since Australian pop princess Kylie Minogue was diagnosed with, and underwent surgery for, breast cancer earlier this year. Fellow Australian Nicole Kidman has been spotted wearing one too.
If you want to support the beat bullying campaign you need the blue band which is on sale for ￡2.50 and is worn by England football captain David Beckham and singer Natasha Bedingfield.
The average price of the wristbands is ￡1 and all the money goes to the charity. They are seen as trendier than traditional charity pins and things like poppies which is why so many young people are seen wearing them. The criticism is that they are only wearing them because they are trendy and a fashion statement, which could be true, but is this a bad thing? If it raises money for charity and increases people’s awareness of various health and social issues then surely it’s a good thing.