Silicon wristbands had gained great popularity that many individuals from all around the world wear them. One may wonder how this all started, and why people love wearing them.
Wristbands began as a trend back in the late 70’s when punks started wearing black rubber bracelets as an “anti-fashion” statement. At the time, traditional fashion accessories like bracelets were very expensive, and so, to go against the trend, punks thought of wearing black rubber O-rings because they are cheap, and practically worthless.In the 80’s, the influence of famous pop icons like Madonna and Cindy Lauper made rubber wristbands more popular, because they wore colorful rubber bands in their concerts and music videos.
In the 90’s, the colorful O-rings re-emerged as jelly bracelets and became a craze among teenagers. There were even rumors that each color represented a sexual act which the wearer is willing to perform.Wearing the colorful jelly bracelets created controversies which caused panic among parents and even led to some schools banning their students from wearing colorful jelly bracelets. However, this rumor on the ‘sex bracelet’ was only an urban legend and quickly faded away.
It was also in the late 90’s when grocery stores use thick rubber bands to bundle vegetables like broccoli and asparagus. It was observed that customers actually take the rubber bands and use them as bracelets. This gave some companies the idea of using rubber bands for commercial purposes.
Nike eventually developed and improved these rubber bracelets into Baller ID wristbands. Instead of using regular rubber bands, Nike used silicone, which has properties that are better than rubber. The Baller ID silicon wristbands were actually worn by many NBA players.
In 2004, The “Live Strong” wristband was initiated by Lance Armstrong and Nike. This started the use of silicon wristbands in various fund raising events held by charitable institutions and non-profit foundations. Lance Armstrong’s Foundation sold the yellow wristbands imprinted with the motto “Live Strong”, to support cancer research. This initiative created awareness and had awaken many people and institutions to help and support different charitable and social causes.
In 2005, following the idea of Lance Armstrong’s yellow “Live Strong” wristbands, a coalition of different religious groups, charitable institutions, campaign groups, and many celebrities started the Make Poverty History campaign. This has urged worldwide supporters to wear white silicon wristbands which became the campaign’s symbol.
After these events, many social awareness groups were encouraged to use wristbands to symbolize and represent their campaigns. At present, the different colors of wristband identify specific campaign groups. Red wristbands are for HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention programs. Blue wristbands are representation of anti-bullying campaigns. Breast cancer awareness and research supporters use pink wristbands. People who are against domestic violence wear purple bands. Green wristbands are mostly worn by environmentalist groups.
Silicon wristbands are very useful for promoting social events and are effective materials for fund raising because they can be sold at a low price. This allows more people from all walks of life, children and adults, who want to help and support any noble cause, to afford it.
Looking at the history of wristbands, one can say that, these are not just simple fashion accessories but are actually a way of strongly expressing one’s personality and beliefs. Wearing wristbands, whatever color or design it may be, have a meaningful importance to the wearer. Like any other valuable jewelry, it is now also becoming a token and a symbolism of loyalty, friendship, and love among friends, families, and lovers.