The Origin of Movember
Ah, November 1st – the day all your male friends show up with clean-shaven baby faces. Movember is here, and the moustaches are coming soon, in all shapes and sizes.
If you’ve been on the internet in the last decade, you’re probably well aware of Movember and the life-saving causes it supports. It’s a charitable cause that went viral, popularized on social media and now widely known around the world, having raised over $710 million since its beginnings. But did you know Movember was started before social media existed as we know it?
Back in 2003, two friends got together for a casual beer at a bar in Melbourne, Australia and joked about bringing the almost non-existent moustache trend back into popularity. After convincing their other friends to grow their mo’s, and getting inspired by their friend’s mother’s breast cancer fundraising, they decided to turn their moustache-growing fun into an actual campaign to raise money for men’s health and prostate cancer research. The rules were simple: it costs each participant $10 to grow out their moustaches. 30 guys signed up.
The next year the campaign was formalized. They created a logo, a website, and registered a company. It grew in popularity, with 450 participants growing out their whiskers for charity. The first official Movember raised AUD 54,000, with donations coming in from the UK and Spain as well.
In 2007, the original Movember team moved to Los Angeles to grow the campaign internationally. It went viral on social media and Canada and the USA got in on the action, among a few other countries worldwide. 200,000 people were now participating every November.
Fast forward to 2011. Movember registered as an official charity in Canada, and from 2003 to 2011, Canadian moustache-wearers had raised almost $300 million for the cause. Movember’s popularity had grown at an extraordinary pace, but it didn’t stop there.
As of 2017, official Movember campaigns take place in 21 countries around the world with over 5.5 million participants who have raised over $710 million for 1,200 men’s health projects. The power of virality!
So if you’re wondering how to get involved, or if you and your friends grow out your lip warmers during November but aren’t really sure why, consider launching your own Movember fundraiser and contribute to the cause. Check out how you can get your ‘stache started here, and ladies, you can contribute too! Donate to your moustached friends’ campaigns, or Move for Movember yourself!