6 Reasons To Consider A Tampon Subscription
The act of stocking up on tampons every time your period comes is usually a rushed one that's entirely devoid of whimsy. You throw on your shoes in a hurry, drive to the nearest pharmacy, and snag a box of on-sale super absorbency tampons. There's nothing sexy about it. We've become pretty accustomed to this routine, and while there's nothing wrong with this method of purchasing menstrual hygiene products (hey, at least we have such easy access to them!), there's definitely a more delightful way to take care of your period: if you haven't considered opting in for a tampon delivery service before, it might be time to rethink your period strategy. Tampon subscriptions have been gaining popularity this past year, along with other menstrual health innovations like period underwear — and rightly so.
Women are starting to see that there's a lot more to it than just tampons arriving at your door. Bustle spoke with Sara Shake, the co-founder of Kali, a company that sends organic, bio-degradable, hypoallergenic tampons to women across the U.S. every month. "We didn’t want to just be a box of tampons every month," she says. Kali includes other organic, sustainable products in their subscription box that help women feel fresh and healthy when they're on their periods, such as wipettes and mist sprays. Just as importantly, when Kali was founded in 2014, they decided to make all their products safe for the environment. "We really try to make a product that’s not only friendly for your body but planet friendly," Shake says.
So if you think signing up for a tampon subscription is only about buying tampons, think again. Here are six reasons to consider a tampon subscription.
1. You'll Be Getting More Than Just Tampons
I initially thought the whole concept of a tampon subscription was a little silly. I didn't see the point of having tampons come to my door when I could just go get them at the pharmacy. As soon as I peeked into my first Kali box, though, I could see that I wasn't only getting tampons.
In every Kali box you get 14 of their certified organic tampons (you can choose from super or regular absorbency); natural Kali wipettes, which are safe enough to use on any part of your body including your vag; and the product of the month, which changes every month. In my Kali box, I received the Kali Mist. It's a rosewater facial toner and mist, made with organic aloe leaf juice and rose flower water, and it's designed to balance out the pH levels of your skin.
The cost of a monthly Kali box is $19.95 plus shipping. You can cancel or pause your subscription at any time. The boxes get processed and shipped on the 20th of every month, so you'll have a brand new box waiting for you at your doorstep on the first.
2. It Might Change Your Experience Of Getting Your Period
Coming home to a brand new package at your door is undoubtedly one of the most exciting joys of mundane, everyday life. That's why online shopping is so dangerous — you get addicted to the rush. With a tampon subscription, you can live out that high every month, guilt-free. Plus, when you open the box, you can't help but smile. "This is a pampering experience," Shake tells Bustle. The Kali team adds small details to their boxes that make a big difference, like the shiny gold lettering and sleek, chic box. The packaging is supposed to make you feel special and all gooey inside — and let me tell you, it works.
When was the last time you got excited for anything related to your period? Probably never. Our periods aren't always easy, which is exactly why we deserve a little extra glamour to get us through the cramps and mood swings. You never know — those pretty white boxes might actually make you look forward to your period.
3. They're Made With Healthier, More Sustainable Ingredients Than Most Tampons
There are a lot of chemicals and nasty ingredients put into most tampons sitting on the shelves of grocery stores and pharmacies. Styrene, which is used in car tires, chloroform, and acetone are among some of the dangerous synthetic materials said to be found in many menstrual hygiene products.
Shake tells Bustle that the concern about what's in our tampons and pads is a recent one. "Nobody even knew or thought about the fact that tampons could be organic," she says. That's why it became a central concern for her when Kali got off the ground running. Kali tampons are made of certified organic cotton, totally free of chemicals, synthetics, and dyes, and completely hypoallergenic. Keep in mind that normal cotton is usually sprayed with heaps of pesticides and herbicides, and it's usually genetically engineered, which can result in the growth of bad bacteria. You're putting your own body at risk for disease and sickness by using run-of-the-mill tampons, so it pays to shell out a few extra bucks to protect your vag with the organic stuff.
"The tampons themselves are 100 percent biodegradable, which is a big thing for a lot of women," Shake continues. "Basically everything in the box is recyclable and biodegradable." Shake wants the ingredients in Kali products to be as good for the environment as they are for a woman's body. Kali isn't the only company going out of their way to make safe tampons.; Cora is another tampon subscription service that sends out certified organic, hypoallergenic, biodegradable tampons to American women, and they're also proud of the lack of fragrance and synthetics in their products.
4. With Every Box, You Could Be Helping Girls And Women In Need
This is my favorite part about Kali. For every box purchased, Kali donates $1 directly to Girl Up, the United Nations Foundation's Adolescent Girl Campaign, which helps girls in developing countries have access to sound healthcare, receive proper education, and participate in a fulfilling social life. They also create a space where girls can be safe from violence and abuse, and they ensure that these young girls have the proper identification they need to complete paperwork. From the very beginning, Shake said Kali "wanted to be socially conscious, wanted to give back to the community." By supporting Girl Up, Kali is helping girls reach their full potential so they can be a powerful force in their communities. Additionally, Kali has partnered with the #HappyPeriod Initiative, a movement that provides homeless women and trans individuals with menstrual hygiene products they desperately need to survive. Kali donates tampons and helps distribute them to homeless shelters every month.
5. If You Want To Talk About Your Tampons, Your Voice Will Be Heard
To tampon subscription companies like Kali, you're more than just a number. Shake says the Kali team is constantly in contact with their consumers about the products. Women ask questions all the time about the tampons and how they're made, like if the cotton comes from sustainable farms (it does). "Shopping with intention" is the new name of the game, Shake tells Bustle, and she wants Kali to be able to answer all their clients' questions and suggestions.
Shake also wants to encourage women to be more open about their periods in general. The more we talk about our menstrual cycle, the more we chip away at the menstrual taboo. "We try to create a culture where nothing is taboo," she says. If you want to share a crazy period story, go ahead. They've heard plenty of tales from women who subscribe to their boxes, and nothing has phased them yet.
6. You'll Probably Be Supporting A Woman-Owned Business
Kali was founded by Sara Shake and Jonna Piira, two women who saw a tremendous need for organic, sustainable tampons that also answer women's environmental concerns. They're still a small company that's rapidly growing, and their success story is an inspiring one for girls everywhere. Cora is another tampon subscription company that was founded by two women, Morgen Newman and Molly Hayward. There's also Lola, started by Jordana Kier and Alexandra Friedman.
Clearly, there's something amazing happening in the menstrual health and hygiene world. Women are stepping forward to create the kind of products that they themselves would like to use, since in the past it's been men making them for us. Shake says she loves seeing all these incredible women redefining what it means to be a leader, taking risks, and putting things out into the world that will make us all happier and healthier. I don't know about you, but I also love knowing that my tampon money is supporting these small business owners. They're everyday, powerhouse women like us who just want to make periods easier — and a little more fun — for us all.
Images: Gina Florio (4); kaliboxes (3)/Instagram