Marks & Spencer today launched a new partnership with Breast Cancer Now, which aims to raise £13m over the next five years in a bid to prevent 9,000 cases of breast cancer a year by 2025.
The partnership will play a part in Breast Cancer Now’s wider goal to reduce 30% of cases of breast cancer by 2050.
To kick off the partnership, a new social media campaign #ShowYourStrap will call upon M&S customers to take to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to show support for the battle against breast cancer, by posting a selfie showing their bra strap.
Nominations of friends and family to do the same will be encouraged, along with donating £3 to Breast Cancer Now via text.
Throughout October, M&S stores nationwide and M&S.com will promote the partnership and stock a range of exclusive lingerie, including a post-surgery bra with specifically developed features for women who have undergone surgery, that will include a donation to Breast Cancer Now.
Jo Jenkins, director of womenswear, lingerie and beauty at M&S, said: “This is a campaign that will have a direct impact on the fight against breast cancer and it is a cause that matters to our customers. Over the past 14 years, together with our customers, we’ve raised over £20m for Breakthrough Breast Cancer, now Breast Cancer Now, and we’re now making it even easier for our customers to get involved and donate to this amazing cause.”
The money raised by the partnership will help Breast Cancer Now’s scientists discover a way to calculate an individual woman’s risk of developing breast cancer.
It is hoped this vital research will lead to the development of a risk assessment tool in the future that will better inform women of the options available to them based on their own, personal risk of breast cancer.
Currently, women in the UK have an average one in eight chance of developing breast cancer in their lifetime and only women considered ‘high risk’ because of their family history are entitled to additional check-ups and preventative options, which may help them reduce this risk.
However, M&S notes that as there is no such thing as an ‘average woman’, the development of a risk prediction tool for all women to use would mean many more could benefit from tailored risk reduction advice in the future.
Delyth Morgan, chief executive of Breast Cancer Nowi, said that statistics show that one woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every 10 minutes in the UK.
“While our Generations Study – which M&S has played an integral part in helping to fund – has already given us unprecedented insight into the causes of breast cancer, we still don’t know enough about how these different factors interact and what this means for an individual woman.
“The continuing research that M&S and its customers will help make possible will enable our scientists to take that all-important next step to ultimately start preventing the disease, sparing women and their loved ones the fear and uncertainty breast cancer can cause.”