Chances are good that tampons and pads aren’t something that you think about all that much. Or, to be more exact, they’re things that you think about a lot once a month, for about five to seven days (which, yeah, adds up) but beyond the act of procuring, using, and disposing of them, they aren’t really on the forefront of your mind all the time. Until you need menstrual products, you aren’t going to be thinking about them, basically.
But many girls (or, to be more exact, people with periods, since not all people who have periods are girls) across the globe don’t have the luxury of forgetting about menstrual products until they need them, because they don’t have access to them–about 21 percent of girls in Sierra Leone and 30 percent of girls in Afghanistan have to skip school when they have their periods, simply because they don’t have adequate products. Only 12 percent of women in India have access to sanitary napkins. 26.4 million women in the US can’t afford period products. But! There are a bunch of menstrual product companies out there that also help provide products to other people with periods around the world who may be in need. Looking to do some good while you menstruate? Anxious to integrate charity into every single aspect of your life? Don’t really care one way or another and just want to make sure that you find something to stop up all that blood, and quick? Check out these awesome pad and tampon companies that also give back to girls in need:
Cora TamponsCora is a tampon delivery service that uses its monthly sales to help women in India, where only 12 percent of women have access to sanitary napkins. Cora doesn't just send products abroad, though, since that can damage the local economy. Instead, they partner with local organizations in communities they're assisting to employ women to make sanitary products and give them to girls in schools who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford them, meaning that women in the community are employed and have access to sanitary products. Buy it at Cora
Ruby CupIf you're more of a menstrual cup girl, there's definitely an option for you--the Ruby Cup. This is your standard menstrual cup--collects blood in a mini cup, made of silicon, can stay in for up to twelve hours--but the company also works with programs in Eastern Africa (where girls often don't have any access at all to menstrual products and have to use old newspapers and rags as a substitute). Ruby Cup has a "Buy One, Give One" program in which they'll donate a menstrual cup for every cup sold, and also work with local programs and communities to educate girls on reproductive health, menstrual hygiene. Buy it at Ruby Cup
Conscious PeriodConscious Period is an organic tampon company that's aiming to help with the menstrual product crisis in the United States, where 26.4 million women in the United States can't afford menstrual products, and products like pads and tampons aren't covered by food stamps. Conscious Periods donates a box of organic and biodegradable pads to homeless women in the U.S. for every box of tampons sold. It's a relatively new company--fresh off a kickstarter campaign in December 2015--so they're making it clear that their mission isn't finished yet, and are also "hard at work developing the manufacturing capabilities to employ the same women we serve to produce the pads locally and fill shelters’ long term needs." Buy it at Conscous Periods
CottonsCottons is an Australian tampon company that has dedicated their company's mission to helping women who suffer from domestic violence--they've partnered with the domestic violence nonprofit Share the Dignity to help provide sanitary items to women who have had to leave their home and don't have access to pads and tampons. Buy it at Cottons
THINX/AFRIpadsYou probably know about THINX--those supposedly period-proof panties that get advertised pretty much everywhere --but you might not know about AFRIpads, the charity they've partnered with that provides menstrual kits to women in Uganda. The menstrual kit contains four reusable sanitary pads, plus a storage bag for used pads. This kit lasts aabout twelve months and are manufactured in Uganda with a 90 percent female staff, so in addition to providing sanitary products to women in need, AFRIpads also empowers local women throuhg employment.So, if you ever buy a pair of THINX, you're also supporting AFRIpads. Buy it at THINX for $39
LunapadsIf you go to the Lunapads website, you'll see that they sell a wide selection of reusable period supplies, like reusable cloth pads, period panties, and Divacups. In addition to attempting to reduce waste through the normalization of reusable pads, Lunapads also started the Pads4girls program in 2000, which provides cloth pads to girls in developing countries. Buy it at Lunapads
Were you surprised by any of these companies? Do you know of any other ones? Let us know in the comments!
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