A word on awareness ribbons

Wearing an awareness ribbon may be a small gesture in itself, but the importance of the role they play in our communities is massive.

As October and Mental Health Month approaches, you may start to notice people wearing a green ribbon to mark the occasion, or you might be one of the many who wears one yourself. And while the concept of wearing ribbons or badges to mark certain occasions is not new to us, it can be easy to overlook how important a gesture the simple act of wearing an accessory can be to the various communities and good causes around us.

How do awareness ribbons really help?

Awareness ribbons are proven to kick off conversations about subjects that may be uncomfortable or difficult to bring up. And that conversation is the first step to spreading awareness for a cause.

Awareness ribbons also really help fundraising efforts and have proved themselves to be a fantastic way to raise money for a campaign or charity. They are cheap, even when priced with high margins, so people make the purchase decision easily and the awareness train rolls on.

What’s more is that awareness ribbons are a huge channel of education and direct engagement with the audience to get them invested in the cause, because they normally come with a backing card which includes information such as the campaign aim, how people can contribute, and contact details or QR code.

The awareness ribbon colour chart

As you may have seen around International Towers during past Octobers, awareness ribbons for Mental Health Month are green - but did you know that green also represents many other causes, including spinal chord injuries and organ donation to name just a few?

Here’s a comprehensive list of awareness ribbon colours, matched to represented causes:

Red & Pink Ribbon

Burgundy: Antiphospholipid Syndrome, Adults with Disabilities, Brain Aneurysm, Post-Polio Syndrome, Caesarean Section, Lymphatic Malformation, Meningitis, Multiple Myeloma, Sickle Cell Anemia

Peach: Endometrial Cancer, Vaginal Cancer, Uterine/Endometrial Cancer

Pink: Breast Cancer, Nursing Mothers, Hypokalemic Periodic ParalysisRed: AIDS/HIV, Heart Diseases, Burn Victims, Haemophilia, Substance Abuse, Tuberculosis, Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome

Yellow & Orange

Amber: Appendix Cancer

Yellow: Bone Cancer, Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, Suicide Awareness, Endometriosis, Obesity, Spina Bifida, Military Support, Sewol Ferry Disaster

Orange: Multiple Sclerosis, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome, Leukemia, Cultural Diversity, Kidney Cancer, Motorcycle Safety, Agent Orange, Self-Injury


Light Blue: Addison’s Disease, Klinefelter’s Syndrome, Trisomy 18, Men’s Health, Graves’ Disease, Prostrate Cancer, Shprintzen Syndrome, Velo-Cardio-Facial Syndrome, Achalasia Disease

Blue: Alopecia, Anti-Bullying, Crime Victims’ Rights, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Dystonia, Erb’s Palsy, Familial Polyposis, Foster Care Awareness, Teens against Smoking, Myositis, Pompe Disease

Dark Blue: Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Drunk Driving, Arthritis, Child Abuse, Colon Cancer, Rectal Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Huntington’s Disease, Krabbe Disease, Transverse Myelitis, Water Safety, Crime Victims’ Rights, Free Speech

Teal/Turquoise: Marker X Syndrome, Agoraphobia, Batten Disease, Martin-Bell Syndrome, Anxiety Disorder, Compulsive Disorder, Cervical Cancer, Food Allergies, Myasthenia Gravis, Sexual Assault, Ovarian Cancer, Panic Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Polycystic Kidney Disease, Tourette’s Syndrome, Tsunami Victims, Interstitial Cystitis, Addiction Recovery


Light Green: Sexually Transmitted Infections, Chronic Pelvic Pain, Celiac Disease

Lime Green: Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Gastroschisis, Muscular Dystrophy, Sandhoff Disease, Lyme Disease

Mint Green: Genetic Disorders, Congenital Hepatic Fibrosis, Autosomal Recessive Polycystic Kidney Disease

Green: Cerebral Palsy, Bipolar Disorder, Eye Injury, Adrenal Cancer, Dwarfism, Depression, Bone Marrow Donation, Environment, Childhood Depression, Glaucoma, Organ Donation, Neural Tube Defects, Mitochondrial Disease, Pedestrian Safety, Spinal Cord Injuries, Scoliosis, Mental Health Awareness, Maternal Mental Health Awareness

Jade: Hepatitis B

Emerald: Liver Cancer


Purple: International Women's Day, Animal Abuse, Crohn’s Disease, Alzheimer’s, Anti-Violence, Chronic Pain, Colitis, Cystic Fibrosis, Epilepsy, Fibromyalgia, Homelessness, Lupus, Neuropathy Awareness, Macular Degeneration, Domestic Violence, Pancreatic Cancer, Rett Syndrome, Drowning Awareness, Crohn’s Disease, Gynecological Cancer, Epilepsy, Testicular Cancer, Eosinophilic Disorders, Hodgkin’s Disease, Testicular Cancer

Periwinkle: Gastric Cancer, Acid Reflux (GERD), Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Esophageal Cancer, Small Intestine Cancer, Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Pulmonary Hypertension, Stomach Cancer


Black: Gun control, Anti-Terrorism, Narcolepsy, Mourning, POW/MIA, Sleep Apnea, Melanoma

Brown: Anti-Tobacco

Copper: Herpes

Cream: Paralysis, Spinal Disorders and Injuries

Gold: Childhood Cancer, Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma, Neuroblastoma

Grey: Brain Cancer, Asthma, Borderline Personality Disorder

Silver: Parkinson’s Disease, Schizophrenia, Dyslexia, Sciatic Pain

White: Adoption, Congenital Cataracts, Bone Cancer, Anti-Child Pornography, Blindness, Holocaust Remembrance, Osteoporosis, Safe Motherhood, Lung Cancer

Multicolour Combinations for Awareness Ribbons

Black and White: Anti-Racism, Carcinoid Cancer, Vaccine Awareness

Blue and Purple: Pediatric Stroke, Rheumatoid Arthritis

Blue and Red: Congenital Heart Defects and Disease, Noonan’s Syndrome, Pulmonary Fibrosis, Rare Lung Diseases

Blue and Yellow: Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, Down Syndrome, Cushing’s Syndrome

Blue and Grey: Diabetes

Blue, Marigold and Purple: Bladder Cancer

Light Blue and Dark Blue: Hydrocephalus

Light Blue, Light Green and Pink: Hypotonia

Dark Blue, Orange and Orchid: Psoriatic Arthritis

Burgundy and Ivory: Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Throat Cancer, Head and Neck Cancer, Oral Cancer
Burgundy and Purple: Arachnoiditis

Pink and Blue: Hyperammonemia, Amniotic Fluid Embolism, Baby Safe Haven, Male Breast Cancer, Infertility, Infant Loss, Pregnancy Loss, Birth Defects

Pink, Purple and Teal: Thyroid Cancer

Purple and Red: Cluster Headaches

Purple and Black: Tracheotomy, Necrotizing Enterocolitis

Purple and Green: Stickler Syndrome, Schizencephaly, Hospice and Palliative Cancer, Anal Cancer

Purple, Teal and Green: Medullary Sponge Kidney

Purple and Yellow: Autoimmune Hepatitis, Chemical Injury, Lupus, Endometriosis

Orchid and Orange: Eczema, Psoriasis

Red and Pearl: Latex Allergy

Red and White: Aplastic Anemia

Red, White and Black: B12 Deficiency

Red and Yellow: Hepatitis C

Red, Yellow and Blue: Forms of Trisomy

Teal and Purple: Suicide Awareness

Teal and White: Cervical Cancer

Silver and Blue: Disorders of Corpus Callosum

Gold and Silver: Hearing Disorders, Tinnitus, Meniere’s Disease


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