No one likes getting their period, unless it’s after one of those not-so-careful sexy times and you’re hoping and praying you’re not late. Because other than those sticky situations and procreation aside, it’s a sucky time. There are cramps and stains and leaks and moodiness and dogs sniffing a little too intensely down there and it’s during those times of the month that women wish they didn’t have to be punished for being a woman.
But still, most of us have it good. Yes, GOOD. Because there is an astounding amount of women who live in poverty — 16.9 million in the U.S. alone! — who have to choose between tampons or pads and food each and every month. And a young woman named Claire Coder is looking to change that.
The 19-year-old founded Aunt Flow, a company that created all-natural tampons and pads. Already great, right? Well, you haven’t heard the best part. For each box purchased, another is donated for free to one of five non-profit organizations each month, which goes to another menstruator in need. The donations go a long way, since menstrual products can’t be purchased using food stamps and other federal assistance programs. So now, people don’t have to “resort to using plastic bags and dirty socks to stop the flow.” Because, yes, that’s what some people do every month. Which makes us think twice about complaining.
Coder views access to tampons as “just one layer of added security” that can also help make the world a better place. Aunt Flow, which uses 100% natural cotton that is biodegradable with no synthetics, chemicals or dyes and is FDA-approved, offers monthly subscriptions of $13 to their variety of tampons and pads. Each order can be custom-designed with a combination of 18 tampons and pads for light and heavy flows. And nowhere on the Aunt Flow website will you see the word “hygiene” mentioned because Coder told Hello Giggles, “adding ‘hygiene’ inherently creates this idea that we are cleaning up something that is dirty,” when, in fact, menstruation is a cleansing process. Um, raise your hand if you love this girl.
Coder adds that it’s not only about women. The company’s products are proudly gender-neutral because Coder says “there are humans who identify as male, but still menstruate … we don’t want our menstruators shoving tampons up their sleeves to hide that they are on their period. Menstruation is a fact of life and it should not be shameful!”
She’s 19! Bravo, girl. Forget the heating pads and hot water bottles. Coder and Aunt Flow just made us feel all warm and fuzzy.