Wristbands are extremely functional, versatile, and visually appealing. They are unisex accessories that can be worn by people of all ages. They can function as identifiers or brand promoters. They also make a statement, regardless if it is a fashion statement, a social statement, or a political one. The origins of the wristband are unfamiliar, but the popularity of them boomed when testicular cancer survivor Lance Armstrong partnered with Nike to launch their silicon bracelets labeled as “Livestrong”. It intended to raise money for cancer research and patient support, but no one would have ever imagined that their silicon bracelets would start a wristband trend. Shortly after Livestrong product reveal, other charitable foundations followed in Armstrong’s lead with the creation of their own wristband for a cause. Soon, companies used them to market their brand, which opened up to different styles of wristbands.
Livestrong bands are silicon bracelets, as are countless other charity wristbands. Because particular wristbands are typically associated with causes, these are also known as awareness bracelets. They are made from silicon rubber, an inorganic form of rubber that is hypoallergenic, deeming it safe to wear on bare skin. The material is smooth and stretchy enough to slip over your hand but not too much that it does not revert back to its original shape and size. These bracelets come in many different colors, and each color represent specific causes. For example, a red wristband could either mean it is a wristband for AIDS or heart disease, and a green wristband could be from an environmental charity or support for organ donation. The bracelets are further differentiated by the name, cause or message of the charity embossed onto it. The pink breast cancer awareness bracelets have a variety of messages, but they are easily identified breast cancers bands with their notable pink ribbons embossed with the messages. Livestrong bracelets are easily recognized as the yellow wristband, with the foundation’s name clearly labeled on it. Fundraising is not the only reason why people sell or purchase these wristbands. Some companies simply sell customized silicon bracelets as their own product or for stylistic purposes.
Another popular form of wristband is made from terrycloth, the exact same material that is used to make towels and bathrobes. These terrycloth wristbands, or more commonly known as sweatbands, were first aimed at athletes in sports requiring hand contact with some sort of equipment, such as a racket or a ball. They were produced to prevent sweat from running down their arm, so that athletes could maintain their grip on whichever equipment they had to use. These wristbands are rather thick, and so unlike the silicon bracelets, only one band can be worn on each wrist. Sweatbands come in many colors and patterns and sometimes feature logos of a sponsor or a sports team. They can also be customized, and some people even wear them as a fashion statement.
The third most commonly worn wristband is the UV bracelet. Just as one can predict from the name, these wristbands indicate the amount of UV exposure the wearer is receiving. There is one type of UV wristband that immediately changes color when it detects high levels of UV radiation, and the other type that gradually changes color, letting the user know when it’s time to reapply sunscreen or to stay out of the sun. UV bracelets are typically worn by skin cancer patients (or those that are prone to it) but are useful to anyone who spends a lot of time in the sun.
The functions of wristbands are endless, and it’s no wonder that people love them so much. They’re fun, trendy, and useful in everyday situations.