COLUMBUS, OHIO— According to a study conducted by Free The Tampons, 86 percent of women have started their period unexpectedly in public without the supplies they needed. The Free The Tampons website includes many stories of women and young teens caught by surprise by their period. Claire Coder, after getting her period unexpectedly in public, decided to do something to make sure women always have access to the menstrual products they need. She started her own company, Aunt Flow, to provide tampons and pads made from 100 percent organic cotton. Applicators are made from cardboard, instead of plastic. RSA RoomService Amenities just announced it is supplying Aunt Flow products to the lodging industry. The pads and tampons are available to guests in a white counter dual-display box.
Menstrual products should be available to women in public hotel restrooms or meeting centers, or through the front desk or housekeeping, but often are not, Coder says. She related a recent stay at a four-star hotel. She called down to the front desk to see if they had menstrual products and they did not.
Coder’s choice of 100 percent organic cotton for her company’s products was an intentional one, she says. Suppliers of menstrual products are not required to list ingredients although efforts are currently underway to do that. “The standard is ridden with synthetics and often bleached with chlorine,” Coder says. “The product is difficult to use and not comfortable to wear. With Aunt Flow products, the absorbency is much more reliable. They are not made with chemicals or bleached with chlorine.” Aunt Flow products generate roughly 25 percent less waste compared to leading brands.
An Essential Supply
According to Coder, providing quality menstrual products is no different than essential sanitary supplies such as toilet paper and tissues. “Your guests will recognize the value of this product, especially in an emergency,” she says.
Aunt Flow is currently offering the ESTROGEN wall-mounted menstrual product dispensers for high traffic public restrooms. The mechanical delayed dispensing system reduces overconsumption of menstrual products. No batteries are required. The dispenser includes a patent-pending rotator.
According to Aunt Flow, menstrual products are not covered by food stamps or WIC. That is why the company has donated over 350,000 menstrual products to organizations in the United States. “For every 10 sold we donate one,” Coder says.
Glenn Hasek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.