We’ve talked about the many, many different period options out there. Whether you’re looking for greener pads and tampons, better period panties or even wearable tech that can help with your cramps, menstrual product innovation definitely seems to be having a moment.
For millions of women across the country, the issue isn’t a lack of access to options — it’s a lack of access, period. (No pun intended.) Pads and tampons aren’t covered by food stamps, and adequate menstrual care isn’t always available through homeless shelters and women’s charitable resources, because it’s not as talked about as clothes and canned goods donations. That means, for many women, managing their periods isn’t just a monthly inconvenience — it’s practically impossible.
But now, Alex Friedman and Jordana Kier want to change all that. They’re the co-founders of LOLA (the company that makes environmentally friendly, 100-percent-organic cotton tampons), and they’ve partnered with Support the Girls, Distributing Dignity and Simply the Basics to distribute LOLA tampons to women in need.
“We launched LOLA with an idea that women deserve more from their brands and feminine care specifically,” says Alex. “These products aren’t available to women who need them most, and as a company by women for women, we wanted to be more helpful there.”
Since July 2015, 100,000 LOLA tampon donations have reached 27 states, 60 cities and 100 shelters. With the launch of the formal charitable arm of the company, LOLA gives back, they hope to add even more partners over time and eventually reach every state across the US. And next year, when the company expands its product offerings to include organic cotton pads and liners, they’ll include those products in their quarterly donations as well.
And raising awareness is just as important to the campaign as the donations themselves. “We want to get across that tampons shouldn’t be a luxury item,” says Jordana. “Everything from the tax we have to pay on tampons to homeless shelters not always stocking these products is part of the issue.” They’re using hashtag #tamponsarenotaluxury to spread the word, and also recommend that LOLA fans host a “product donation party” (or “Period Party,” if you want to go there) to galvanize your own community to make donations and start talking about these issues.
With just a little bit of time and effort, you can help make periods suck just a little bit less for women in your region. For more information on the “LOLA gives back” campaign and how to get involved, visit mylola.com.
What are your ideas for supporting wider access to feminine care products, and making sure that #tamponsarenotaluxury? Tweet us your tips @BritandCo, and be sure to use the hashtag.
(Photos via Erik Tanner for LOLA)