If you're anything like me, you probably somehow manage to forget your period is coming each month, like clockwork. It's a never-ending surprise, and what's worse, you're never prepared. The first day of your period is usually characterized by a pair of ruined underwear and a late night trip to a bodega that has only one box of tampons, and they need to be retrieved by the cashier with a mechanical claw.
And while we might always be on the hunt for a tampon at an inconvenient hour, for many women, buying a tampon might mean that they can't buy food. Despite the fact that menstrual products are essentials, there are so many women around the world who don't have access to them or can't afford them — because they're not priced like they are essentials. This is exactly why the company Aunt Flow, a menstrual product subscription service that donates a box of tampons to women in need each time you buy one for yourself, came into existence.
The clever do-gooders behind the service, Claire Coder and Lindsay McEntee saw a real opportunity to help women in all different degrees of need — aka, the women who can't seem to remember to stock up on tampons, and the women who simply can't get them. For the boxes, the Aunt Flow girls teamed up with Veeda, a company that makes natural cotton menstrual products that are totally safe and totally eco-friendly. According to a rep from Aunt Flow, the business model is simple:
"Aunt Flow is committed to ensuring that every person has access to the tampons and pads. We partnered with Veeda, a 100 percent all-natural cotton feminine hygiene brand, to provide the healthiest, most affordable option to our customers and the U.S.-based organizations that benefit from our ‘buy-one-give-one model. For every Aunt Flow box purchased, a menstruator in need is supported for an entire month."
And setting up your subscription is a piece of cake. All you have to do is head to AuntFlow.org, hit the "subscribe" tab, and then choose your tampon or pad preference. You can also choose how ever many of each type of tampon and pad you'd like — aka, you have the ability to literally create your own dream pack. Then you get to pick a beneficiary organization where your donation will go to. The options are: Dress for Success, Friendship of Women, Take Charge. Period., PERIOD, The Menstrual Movement, Gracehaven and Flow Fund. Each of these organizations are a great choice, and they all help women in need get the resources they need to have a healthy period — as every woman deserves to. Then, once you pick your subscription type (your options are monthly, semi annually, or annually), you just need to check out.
A service like this has a real shot at making a big difference. We all love subscription services because we love getting things in the mail and not having to leave the house — and when it comes to your period, there's nothing worse than having to leave then house when you're not prepared to. So get the best of both worlds, help your sisters and help yourself — it's a two-in-one-stop-shop at Aunt Flow.