It’s been over 70 years since the disposable tampon was invented by Earle Haas.
Now in 2017, it’s not so surprising that the new period entrepreneurs are women who are making menstruation products cool.
Cora is a subscription service for organic tampons that come in a trendy, black package and for every month of Cora tampons you buy, the company provides one months worth of pads to women in need in India through it’s partner, Aakar Innovations. Then, there’s Thinx underwear. They are ultra-absorbent and offer a comfortable alternative to pads, tampons or cups. Or newcomer, Lola, who ships 100 percent organic cotton pads and tampons right on schedule.
All of these innovative services were created by women for women.
Interestingly enough, the FDA isn’t required to list all of the ingredients in their tampons so they don’t. But tampons sit inside female bodies for several days each month so they should be fully aware of what is going into their bodies.
Cora was founded by 28-year-old Molly Hayward who saw an opportunity to make the experience of hiding your tampon in your sleeve as you run to the bathroom a less awkward experience. So she looked into the life of a modern, busy woman and realized that there were very specific instances such as carrying feminine hygiene products from their desk to the bathroom at work that were common across the board, but that doesn’t even compare what other girls around the world deal with during menstruation.
We believe every woman deserves to understand and be able to manage her period with safe and healthy products. However, in India, only 12% have access to period products and sanitary napkins. Period care should be safe and affordable for all, which is why for every month you subscribe to Cora, we send a month's worth of pads to a girl in need. (Image via @thefashionbum)
Without sanitary pads, girls in third-world countries often miss school and access to pads increases school attendance as much as 90 percent. Hayward wants to change the experience on a global scale and female leaders are incredibly important to the progress.
Look at advertising. Periods have been represented by beautiful women in white dancing through a field of flowers or women athletes stretching in ways that most women can’t. Thinx has attempted to change this, by covering New York City subway stations with advertisements celebrating vaginas along with hilarious captions like “period (and stuck in a v long meeting with a v soaked tampon) -proof underwear.”
Feminine hygiene products are not tax exempt like other medical necessities. Pads and tampons are treated as a luxury item meaning that the buyer pays an extra four percent. It’s amazing how these products are considered “nonessential” when half of humanity requires them. The government acts as if menstruation is a choice. It’s also important to note that drugs like Viagra are not taxed.
Hayward believes that women are best suited to guide the future of feminine hygiene products, but she believes it’s about women and men working together. Men should be included in the movement in order to witness a true cultural shift. She said, “Having a male cofounder, I am convinced that men possess the capacity or immense empathy and valuable insight in this space, even though they may not use the product themselves.”
The goal of all of these companies is to empower women and eliminate the intimidation of what comes with being a woman.
Time to show women how cool it is to be a woman.