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Sexual Wellness

Why We Need to Make Menstrual Products Accessible to Everyone

Claire Coder

CEO, Aunt Flow

When I was 8 years old, my “lemonade stand” sold beer to construction workers. In high school, I founded a button company where I designed, pressed and sold pins. By the time I reached graduation, I did all of my learning outside of the classroom and I hated the idea of attending higher education. I didn’t have the guts to tell my parents I wasn’t going to college, so I did what was expected of me, and went to The Ohio State University. 

An epiphany  

While at university, I attended a startup weekend. Surrounded by tech bros and business professionals, I got my period — and didn’t have the supplies I needed. I was miles away from my dorm. That’s when I realized: Toilet paper is offered for free in public bathrooms; why aren’t tampons and pads?

The period punishment

After getting my period without the supplies I needed, I decided to dedicate my life to solving some critical “period problems”:

  1. 86 percent of women have started their period without the supplies they need, and 62 percent have left work immediately to get them. 
  2. Offering free menstrual products can increase school attendance by 2.4 percent. 
  3. Menstrual products are not covered by WIC or food stamps.

Changing the world, one cycle at a time

My goal is to ensure that everyone has access to quality menstrual products. My company, Aunt Flow, is making organic cotton tampons and pads for schools and businesses, so they can put them in employee, student and guest bathrooms. I call this people helping people. Period.

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