Adelaide women launch business TABOO helping fight period poverty in Africa and locally
Posted August 23, 2019 07:42:56
Two young South Australian entrepreneurs have launched their own social enterprise selling sanitary products whose profits will go to disadvantaged women fighting period poverty around the world.
- Two Adelaide women have started a business selling sanitary pads and tampons in Australia
- Profits will go to a charity helping African women to afford sanitary products
- Buyers can also help disadvantaged Australian women
The products sold and distributed in Australia will raise money for One Girl — a Melbourne-based charity that educates and gives women and girls in Africa access to pads and tampons.
Eloise Hall, 20, and Isobel Marshall, 21, created their not-for-profit online social enterprise called TABOO two-and-a-half years ago with little expectation, in between their studies.
Their first products went up for sale at a launch in Adelaide last night.
“We thought there’s such a market for pads and tampons in Australia and there’s such a need overseas for menstrual health care, so let’s sell products here and send our profits over there,” Ms Marshall said.
The pair travelled interstate and overseas to find a suitable charity to donate its profits to.
“We spent a lot of time researching what organisations exist that support women in menstrual health care and last year we travelled to Kenya and India to shadow some pre-existing organisations and see how they are sustainably tackling the issue,” Ms Hall said.
“We were aware of how complicated menstrual healthcare is overseas and how much it actually disempowers women, but we also had this solution, which was to sell a product that was in high demand.”
One Girl helps women in Africa
TABOO’s products are ethically sourced, made from pure cotton and manufactured using power from a Spanish hydroelectric plant.
All of the profits made from the sale of their pads and tampons will be donated to One Girl.
The organisation primarily focuses its efforts on education programs for women and their communities in Sierra Leone and Uganda.
“We provide them with financial literacy training and the skills they need to get jobs and get a career either through the formal school system or vocational training,” One Girl chief executive Sarah Ireland said.
One Girl has rebuilt school classrooms and toilets and has reached more than 29,000 women and girls in Sierra Leone and Uganda since it was founded in 2009.
“We also know that there’s so much more than those hard skills that girls need, so we do leadership training, confidence building and decision making so they can be leaders in their own communities,” she said.
Sanitary products also donated locally
The pair also set up a program where people can purchase sanitary products to be sent to disadvantaged women sleeping rough in Australia.
Ms Marshall said TABOO had developed a sound relationship with Vinnies Crisis Centre, to provide women sleeping rough access to sanitary products.
“A lot of the women who come to the shelter can’t actually leave the shelter to buy the product for themselves because it can be dangerous to even just be in the public for them,” she said.
“When we found that out we were really excited to partner with Vinnies because that’s so important.”
“You can also subscribe for a woman in community Australia through our partnership with NPY Women’s Council,” Ms Hall added.
“That’s mostly designed for people who don’t bleed and don’t require our product but still want to support the mission they can buy a product for someone else and the profits of those sales will still support One Girl, which is really cool.”
Topics: menstruation, reproduction-and-contraception, health, homelessness, poverty, women, womens-health, charities, community-and-society, adelaide-5000, unley-5061, kent-town-5067, sa, ernabella-0872, vic, nt, alice-springs-0870, melbourne-3000, australia, kenya, sierra-leone, uganda, india