The meaning of colored wristbands

Updated April 17, 2017

First popularised by the yellow "LIVESTRONG" bracelets supporting Lance Armstrong and cancer research, coloured wristbands traditionally represent support for specific causes or general groups of people. Sports fans also wear coloured wristbands in support of their favourite team.


Red rubber bracelets have generally been used to represent HIV/AIDS awareness and heart disease prevention. Bush supporters wore red wristbands before the 2004 election.


White wristbands have been used extensively in the United Kingdom. UK campaigns for anti-poverty use white wristbands to draw awareness. A white and black bracelet worn together, with the messages "Stand Up" and "Speak Up," shows support for anti-racism.


Groups drawing awareness for causes including cancer, autism, fibromyalgia, lupus and domestic violence have adopted purple for their awareness bracelets. Support groups for Alzheimer's disease have imprinted "MINDSTRONG" on their purple bracelets.

Other Color Meanings

Bracelets of any colour (or combination of colours) can have multiple meanings. Often, a message imprinted on the bracelet will let people know what cause it is supporting.

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About the Author

Based just outside Eugene, Ore., Danielle Gream began writing professionally in 2010 for various websites. Gream is the co-owner of a business consulting firm that specializes in leadership training and effective communication. She holds a Bachelor of Science in communication from the University of Phoenix.