Movember merchandise: State of the ‘stache

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The arrival of November means the return of Movember, an annual charity mustache-growing event that raises money and awareness in the battle against prostate and testicular cancers.

It also means a whole lot of men who begin the month with clean-shaven faces will, within a few days, begin to manifest the ruddy smudges of a fledgling mustache -- at least the ones strictly following the rules, that is. (Those wholly unfamiliar with the specific details of the face-follicle-focused fundraising effort can brush up at the organization’s website.)

What I appreciate are the ever-growing number of ways those who can’t (or won’t) throw their lip behind the 30-day grow-out can still support the effort. This includes merchandise partners that donate a portion of proceeds from each sale (such as Toms Shoes, Giordana cycling jerseys, Lancaster Ltd. T-shirts, Hook + Albert socks) and a hilarious mustache-growing advice video by the manly ‘stached “Parks & Recreation” actor Nick Offerman (among the tips: “smell wood,” “eat a raw onion”).


This year, even the competitive-facial-hair circuit is lending its support, with organizers of the upcoming National Beard and Moustache Championships in Las Vegas recently announcing plans to make the official after-party of the Nov. 11 event a Movember benefit. (In full disclosure, I’m a volunteer judge at this year’s beard battle.)

According to Movember’s organizers, since launching in 2003 the charity mustache grow has had 1.9 million participants in 21 countries raise more than $299 million for men’s health organizations. In the U.S., Movember funds go to support the efforts of the Prostate Cancer Foundation and Livestrong.


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