Ladies First highlights women and girls who are making the world better for the rest of us.
If you’re a person who has a uterus, then you’ve likely had to deal with the issues of finding menstruation products while out and about at some point. If you bleed, then you can know how essential it is to have products like tampons, pads and panty liners around without having to snatch coins out of your handbag. This is why Claire Coder launched her company, Aunt Flow in November 2016. She wanted to create a service that sold products while having a charitable component.
Similar in nature to companies like TOMS or Warby Parker, Coder created Aunt Flow as a subscription-based service where folks could purchase a box of 100 percent cotton tampons or pads (online) and in return, donate a box to one of their featured organizations. The reason behind the company is simple: Accessibility.
“Throughout the years, I realized that tampons and pads weren’t covered by food stamps,” explained Coder, sharing that this accessibility issue is only made worse by individual states’ tax on these essential products. “Not having a tampon or pad is a horrible situation and I wanted to create a sustainable solution for my business.”
After a successful first year with Aunt Flow, Coder tells us, “Never did I think I would grow up to talk about periods for a living.” Now, the business has expanded to capture an entirely new market share: the workplace.
Since September, Aunt Flow has been available for businesses and organizations to make tampons and pads available for free in company restrooms for every-menstruator at who require them. According to stats on the Aunt Flow website, 87 percent of women reportedly started their period in public, without the supplies needed percent of women left work immediately to get supplies.
Currently menstruation products are seen as luxury items by many employers, and Coder is trying to change the conversations surrounding this. To date, she’s been able to align with organizations like Harvard University and Bark Box to include her products in their offices. For folks who do have to use these products, having them provided can help them save time, stress, and — crucially —funds.
“I understand that tampons won’t solve poverty, but ensuring humans have access to their basic needs is a start,” she says. “We need to start somewhere, so why not ‘down there’?”
What do you think about Aunt Flow? Tell us @britandco!
(Featured photo via @clairecoderofficial)