Silicone Rubber Bracelets
Discussion has swirled around for decades now about the trends in wearing silicone rubber bracelets. The United States has seen them come in waves since the early 1980s but more recently they have become popular for a variety of reasons. Perhaps made famous most recently by world-renowned cyclist and Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, rubber wristbands have become a fashionable, trend-setting method to make a statement and even raise money. The sleek yellow bands that Armstrong branded as an iconic gesture to raise cancer awareness through his "Live Strong" campaign and charity organization have literally raised millions of dollars worldwide, but particularly in the United States. According to a Daily Times article (http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_4-12-2004_pg10_5) , "some 25 million of the official silicone rubber bracelets have sold since their debut earlier this year, with proceeds funding the charity's efforts to help cancer survivors. Demand for the bands, which cost $1 each and have been spotted on the wrists of politicians and celebrities, has outstripped supply and has forced the foundation to impose a delay of up to a month on orders." With such growing popularity, many other organizations have since followed suit, attempting to raise money for a good cause by selling something that people care about and can take pride in wearing.
But what exactly is a silicone rubber bracelet? Perhaps their name is somewhat straightforward, at least in terms of the bracelet part. But silicone rubber isn't exactly a term or phrase we use often and it may be good to take just a minute to understand what silicone rubber bracelets are made of. The fact is, silicone rubber is a polymer, or a molecular composition commonly referred to as plastic by the general consumer. It has several silicone-oxygen linkages that are found in other materials like quartz, glass, and sand. The great thing about silicone rubber, though, is that it can be easily colored and molded to make all kinds of useful products for a variety of applications. When first developed, silicone rubber was traditionally used to make things like tubes and chords, and then eventually manufactured into 'O' rings. But nowadays, silicone rubber has many common functions in products you may come across with everyday. Some of these products include, as Wikipedia notes, automotive applications; a large variety of cooking, baking, and food storage products; apparel, undergarments, sportswear, and footwear; electronics; home repair and hardware; and a host of unseen applications.
Because of its durability and flexibility, it is no wonder that silicone rubber has been used as material for custom wristbands. It is relatively easy and cost-efficient to produce and can be made in just about any color. Hundreds and thousands can be made at a time, perfect for large campaigns, fundraisers, conferences, or business gatherings. But they are easy enough to also just make a few for either one person, or a small group. Hence, silicone rubber bracelets have been made and sold to literally millions of people for all kinds of corporate, non-profit, and personal purposes. Today you'll see them made and worn for family reunions, friend circles, school clubs, and for many other reasons. The cost, perhaps, makes them easy to purchase and give away, but their easy-to-make, mold, and color abilities make them a great way to personalize and customize to say a slogan or send an important message. So while Lance Armstrong's "Live Strong" campaign may be the most popular, it is likely that these durable, colorful silicone rubber bracelets will continue to make a statement for years to come.