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Wellness

Four Awesome Companies Fighting for Period Equality

Despite it being almost 2020 (what?!?!?!), the topic of menstruation is still kind of a taboo subject, even though it is a natural function of our bodies. Talking about periods can make some people uncomfortable. This is understandable, but what blows my mind is that there are still people all over the world who are not allowed to have their periods in peace. This can be from lack of access to pads and tampons, little to no education about periods, outdated beliefs about periods, or other issues. To me, it’s seems pretty straightforward – if you are a person, no matter your gender/race/age/religious beliefs are, if you get periods, you have the right to access period supplies and proper education about periods and how to manage them. You have the right to not hide the fact you’re on your period or be denied the right to manage your period. Unfortunately, there are still people out there who don’t see periods the same way I do.

Period poverty is an issue that affects many people around the world. 1 in 5 school age girls in the US have had to leave school early or miss school because they did not have access to period products (https://www.cbsnews.com/news/what-is-period-poverty/). 

Here are four awesome companies who are making a difference in world by providing sustainable, affordable period products to people all over the world. 

Lunapads

Lunapads is a Canadian-based company that was founded by Suzanne Siemens and Madeleine Shaw. Their goal is “to help people have more positive and informed experiences of their period, and by extension, their bodies overall.” (https://lunapads.com/pages/about-us).

Lunapads sells reusable cloth pads (Lunapads), period underwear, and menstrual cups (DivaCup). They offer a wide range of styles and sizes of their Lunapads, which range in price from $12.99 to $29.99. They also have a huge variety of sizes of their period underwear, which range from XS-5XL, depending on the style. 

Along with selling a wide range of period products, Lunapads runs Pads4Girls and One4Her. Pads4Girls, which started in 2000, helps provide reusable cloth period pads to girls all around the world. The reusable cloth pads help reduce the impact from disposable pads, helps keep girls in school, and helps reduce the cost of period management because the cloth pads last for years. One4Her is a fund that is made up of donations and a percentage of Lunapads gross annual sales. The money is used to provide the reusable cloth pads and education material to young girls. So far, Pads4Girls has helped more than 17,000 people in 15+ different countries. 

Lunette

Lunette, one of the world’s leading menstrual cup brands, started in Finland by Heli Kurjanen.

Lunette Cups are made from 100% medical-grade silicone, and are totally reusable. They come in two different sizes, Model 1 and 2. Model 1 is for lighter flows, while Model 2 is for heavier ones. They come in a variety of colors and cost $39.99.  

Lunette has six values that the company was founded on: leadership, inclusivity, sustainability, optimism, accessability, and education. They’ve partnered with many organizations, like The Cup Project in Kenya, Positive Change, Fida International, Yennenga Progress, MHM, Planned Parenthood, and the Sustainable Period Project, to help provide menstrual cups and period education to people around the world. 

Thinx

Thinx was founded in 2013 by a small group of friends, and it’s grown into a huge, international company.

They sell period underwear, and offer a wide range of styles and sizes. Period underwear holds anywhere from 1/2 of a regulars tampons’ worth to 4 regular tampons’ worth, depending on the style. All their products are made from nylon, elastane, and cotton, and are machine washable in cold water. 

Thinx has partnered up with several organizations to help provide access to basic hygiene products and reproductive healthcare to areas that lack basic hygiene access. Their United for Access campaign is partnered with PERIOD, a youth activist group that protests period inequality. Thinx’s EveryBody education program partners with schools, after-school programs, and youth-serving non-profits to educate young students about periods. 

Lola

Lola started in 2014 by founders Jordana and Alex. Lola is a subscription-based period product company, where customers are able to customize their box of supplies that are delivered every 4 to 8 weeks (customer chooses).

All of Lola’s products are made from 100% certified organic cotton. While their pads and tampons are still disposable, they are made from materials that are better for the environment and for our bodies than regular products. Lola offers tampons with cardboard applicators, non-applicator tampons, pads, liners, cramp care products, condoms, and lubricants. Their tampons are $8-$9 per order (18 count), pads are $9 per order (12 count), liners are $9 for 28. All of their organic cotton-based products are hypoallegenic, which is great for people with sensitive skin. 

Lola has partnered with Period Equity, a group fighting tampon taxes (also called the pink tax), in order to change state laws to make menstrual products tax-exempt. They’ve also partnered with I Support the Girls, a nonprofit that helps provide period products to people in need. So far, Lola has donated more than 2 million pads and tampons. 

It’s really great to see so many awesome companies and organizations committed to making period equality a reality!  

Katherine Vogel

UW Stout '21

A native Minnesotan, Katie is a junior at UW-Stout. She is majoring in Interior Design and minoring in Sustainability. She plays the French Horn in the UW-Stout band. When she is back home, Katie loves traveling around Minnesota, spending time with her family, practicing archery and pistol shooting, trap shooting, and going horseback riding.
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