Looking to stock up on pyjamas? There's no better time to buy sleepwear than this October - not only will it prepare you for the colder winter months ahead, but it will also help raise money for cancer research. Marks & Spencer is donating 25 percent of sales from selected sleepwear to the charity Breast Cancer Now throughout Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This will help the company raise £13 million and prevent 9,000 cases of breast cancer a year by 2025.
M&S's pyjama collection includes a number of different styles and shapes to suit everyone, from pretty pink short sets, to soft grey nighties, to blue striped shirts - and they look so cosy! The pyjamas sets are modelled by women who have been affected by the disease, and they are sharing their stories as part of the campaign.
Meet 31-year-old Laura who found support in her colleagues Sarah and Sheli. She had a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy after being diagnosed with primary breast cancer in 2015, but she now has incurable secondary breast cancer. Speaking of Sarah and Sheli, Laura said: "Although cancer has been s**t, it’s brought a lot of good into my life. I didn’t realise people would be as good as they have been. Here are two people who I wasn’t originally that close to who are now my best friends."
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Vicky, Lisa and Sophie were also diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017. Now all in their thirties, they turned to social media for help and ended up bonding over their experiences. Vicky spoke to M&S about how social media has helped provide support: "Originally I was looking for reassurance, for someone to say, 'I understand how you’re feeling.' But it’s become so much more than that. It’s not just about cancer, it’s about friendship, and that’s why this is so special."
SHOP: Pyjama collection, Marks & Spencer
As well as M&S, a number of other companies have also shown their support: Jo Malone is donating £20 for every sale of its Red Roses Cologne to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF); ghd is aiming to raise a further $1 million with its new ink on pink collection which is adorned with mastectomy tattoo artist David Allen's floral artwork; Elemis has released a limited edition pink bottle of its Pro-Collagen Marine Cream, and it reassured that £25,000 will go to Breast Cancer Care regardless of the sales; and Clinique plans to donate £7.84 from every Great Skin, Great Cause purchase to the BCRF.
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Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, with around 55,000 women and 350 men expected to be diagnosed this year alone. In 2018, Loose Women panellist Kaye Adams opened up about her breast cancer fears, writing on Facebook: "I've been in a sort of state of panic for the last week. Totally convincing myself that there is something [a lump] there." Luckily, Kaye was told she had nothing to worry about, but she is not the only celebrity who has spoken out about her health concerns. Peter Andre's wife Emily also went to the doctor after finding a lump in her breast in 2018, and TV presenter Melanie Sykes shared a topless picture urging women to have regular breast cancer checks.