Oct. 13--Pumpkins, hair extensions and even drill bits -- Midlanders are sparing no expense while "Pinking the Basin" for breast cancer awareness this month.
But Better Business Bureau experts are warning consumers to avoid scammers who market pink products or services as supporting breast cancer charity groups when they actually don't -- a practice known as pinkwashing.
Experts advise making direct donations to charities, asking questions, researching the business and confirming the charity's corporate partners.
Local ways to pink
At the B's Knees Designs, a local online vendor that offers homemade holiday decorations, co-owner Charlsa DeLucia found a way to raise money and awareness by selling pink pumpkins.
DeLucia has friends and family who were diagnosed with cancer and vowed to donate 80 percent of the proceeds to the American Cancer Society.
"We just want to find more ways to donate money to the American Cancer Society because it all stays local," DeLucia said.
To buy a pumpkin, visit the store's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BsKneesDesigns.
Trio, a locally owned store on West Loop 250, is offering 25 percent off all products for the month of October to help spread awareness.
The store also carries scarves from the Lilly Pultizer line, which is donating $5 from each scarf sold from Aug. 1 to Oct. 31 to the American Cancer Society.
In honor of her mother and sister, Laura Fieldhouse, a hair stylist at All About Hair, is offering pink human hair extensions that can be shampooed, blow dried and curled or flat ironed.
The idea came from her daughter, a student at Midland College's cosmetology school, which is also offering the extensions.
Fieldhouse is asking for a $10 minimum donation, which she will give to the Susan G. Komen Race for a Cure. Her salon also sells hair products such as Aquage with a portion of the sales benefiting breast cancer awareness.
Bed Bath & Beyond on Loop 250, Tervis Tumbler is donating a portion of its sales of pink tumblers to breast cancer awareness organizations, according to a sign at the store. The company confirmed its commitment on its website.
And in a different way of showing support, the oilfield services company Baker Hughes distributed 500 pink drill bits to sites around the country to generate awareness, and at least one ended up in the Permian Basin.
Baker Hughes is an official sponsor of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Houston.
Here are more ways to avoid pinkwashing, according to the Better Business Bureau:
-- Ask questions
Find out what percentage of the sale price will be donated, to which charity and how the funds will be used.
-- Research the business
Learn more about the business you're purchasing from by checking their BBB Business Review at bbb.org.
-- Confirm the charity's corporate partners
Many national breast cancer charities list corporate partners and sponsors on their website. Check to make sure the business you're purchasing from is associated with the charity.
-- Consider a direct donation
Find a charity you trust at bbb.org/charity and make a donation directly. If you donate online, be sure to print the confirmation page for your records because many donations are tax-deductible.