I come from a long line of community activists, so it’s no surprise I jumped at the chance to talk about shopping with purpose for Breast Cancer Awareness month.

In addition to being hard-working and instilling within me strong work ethics, my parents, my grandparents and my great-grandparents taught me to not just leave things better than I found them, but make a difference by improving them. Volunteerism and being an Activist were lessons learned at a very early age.

My grandmother was a bargain hunter and my mother an extreme couponer before the television series became popular, they taught me to get the best I deal I could on all purchases. When it came time for me to negotiate purchases on my own, I was already armed with the knowledge on how to get great deals, how to negotiate a better deal and to shop around. My mom, who survived her own battle with Cancer, became my inspiration, and the first year I became aware of ‘Pinktober’, I knew it was my chance to make a difference, to make my spending power count for something bigger.

Let’s face it, even with the best of intentions, it may not be possible to join walk for the cures each year, life can get insanely busy. But you can ‘shop with a conscience’, you can shop brands that are giving back. There are brands giving back across a wide variety of product ranges, from household pantry staples to beauty and fashion items, there is literally something for everyone. Some brands are specifically offering proceeds that benefit Breast Cancer, and others for more all encompassing Cancer Organizations. While it would be impossible to site them all here, here are a few brands giving back during ‘Pinktober’:

In no particular order:

By purchasing the “I am blessed” ® Necklace by Mary Margrill 30% of the proceeds will go directly to Fran Dresher’s Cancer Schmancer Movement to help raise money for Early Cancer Detection. (I can’t begin to stress how important early detection is for ALL forms of cancer! Whether it’s a breast self examination or an inspection of moles and birthmarks, if you detect something, if you feel anything, go to your doctor immediately!)

With the purchase of La Mer’s ‘The Lip Balm’ $10 per Pink Ribbon Lip Balm sold during the month of October will be donated to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation with a maximum donation of $30,000. (Ladies if you haven’t had the opportunity to treat yourself to a La Mer product, NOW would be a perfect time to do so!)

Let Dr.’s REMEDY Enriched Nail Polish in ‘Positive Pink’ add a healthy dose of color to your look. 20% of the proceeds from each Positive Pink Enriched Nail Polish purchased at an Everything But Water store or their website will go to Living Beyond Breast Cancer, a national organization dedicated to empowering women affected by breast cancer to live as long as possible with the best quality of life.

$1 from every StilaPositive and Pretty” eye shadow palette sold will be donated to The Foundation of Living Beauty. The Foundation for Living Beauty’s mission is to empower women to reduce their cancer risk, and increase their self-esteem, physical wellness, and emotional stability, after coping with the taxing affects of cancer and chemotherapy. Please visit http://www.livingbeauty.org/ for more information.

You can join Lenox in the fight against Breast Cancer by purchasing from a variety of items where a portion of the proceeds will go to fund Breast Cancer Education. Visit their site to see the entire collection.

Join Cooking.com and SodaStream in the fight against Cancer by purchasing an Exclusive Pink Fizz Soda Machine, this is an exclusive-one time only special edition pink Fizz machine in support and partnership with the Susan G Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer research. The dynamic “passionately pink” color, symbolizes advocacy and support for Breast Cancer research. 5% of retail sales for this item will be donated to the Susan G Komen Foundation.

The Elemis ‘Think Pink Beauty Collection’ ($55) limited edition kit includes some of Elemis’ best face, neck and body products, in pink of course! Available in select Nordstrom locations and online at timetospa.com this beautiful gift is the perfect way to indulge and pamper yourself, for a great cause.

Hanes® launched a Facebook application, or Pink tab, to send free virtual Comfort Packages to friends and family. For each package sent, Hanes will donate $1 to the National Breast Cancer Foundation to promote early cancer detection and provide mammograms for those in need.

Conair invites you to curl (brush, straighten or blow-dry!) for the cure with the Conair “The Power of Pink” product collection.  Conair will donate a minimum of $100,000 to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation based on the sale of products from the “The Power of Pink” collection. Donation to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation varies per product assortment: $0.30 – $1.00. The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF; http://www.bcrfcure.org) is dedicated to preventing breast cancer and finding a cure in our lifetime by funding clinical and translational research worldwide. Conair’s “The Power of Pink” initiative, now in its 8th year, has raised over $741,000 to date. Products in the pink collection can be seen here http://www.conair.com/Breast_Cancer_Month/.

This October accessories company, Echo Design is joining forces with Breast Cancer Research to help strive for a cure.  Debuting their “Pink Boutique” showcasing rosy-hued scarves, gloves, hats and other accessories, Echo will donate 15% of sales of these items to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

If you are Yoplait Yogurt lover like I am, be sure to save lids to save lives! They have a whole section on their facebook page called ‘Save Lids to Save Lives’. Yoplait and the Denver Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure honor long-time breast cancer volunteer Joanie Lucas, joined by neighbors, volunteers and Yoplait, Joanie painted her entire home bright pink to remind people that the fight against breast cancer starts right next door! The house will remain pink for the month of October to symbolize women across the country who are working to make a difference in their neighborhoods and communities through programs like Yoplait´s Save Lids to Save Lives and their local Komen Race for the Cure.

diptyque is partnering with The Pink Agenda this Breast Cancer Awareness month and donating 20% of the proceeds from their Mini Pink Rose Candle to support in the fight against breast cancer. 20% of the proceeds of each Mini Pink Roses candle sold in October will be donated to The Pink Agenda, a not-for-profit organization committed to raising money for breast cancer care, research and awareness among young professionals.

Ice.com is donating 10% of proceeds from the Live Pink Collection to the National Breast Cancer Coalition.

Through November 15, 2011, Eggland’s Best will feature the signature “EB” stamp with the Susan G. Komen Running Ribbon on all varieties of EB farm fresh eggs.  They will also be donating $50,000 to support Susan G. Komen in their pledge to end breast cancer forever. (I have already purchased a ton of these eggs, and I hope you will too!)

Is Fitness more your thing? Would you like to have better abs and help the cause? Then Pink Power: Flat Abs 5 Ways might be just the thing! Shape Magazine and Gaiam are releasing a DVD entitled Pink Power: Flat Abs 5 Ways, with each DVD purchased $1.00 will be donated to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. This marks the fourth year that Shape and Gaiam have worked together on this iniative.

Is your weakness lingerie? Then how about Cosabella’s Breast Cancer Awareness lingerie? 10% of sales from the “Prettie in Pink” collection go to Bra-Ha-Ha which helps local breast cancer centers provide mammograms and early detection awareness.

Want pretty and plump lips? The Look Pro natural lip plumper is an oil based, all natural, paraben free product, the plumping effect is initiated by Niacin (Vitamin B). It comes in two great shades of pink in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For every lip plumper sold, TheLookStore.com will donate $1 to The Foundation of Living Beauty. Couldn’t resist sharing this tagline from their website: ‘Achieve pout-plumping benefits, and enhance your lips to kissable fullness while donating to a good cause.’

If you have any others, feel free to share below!