TABOO takes Clipsal 500! (3/3/17-5/3/17)

OK, be honest. How many of you immediately think of pads and tampons when you hear the words ‘Clipsal 500’? I imagine that comes to approximately zero people – I certainly didn’t! But… there is a method to our madness here at TABOO, so please keep reading, and give us a chance to convince you we are not total lunatics!

We have only two goals in this joint:

  1. To provide sanitary care to women who desperately need it around the world.
  2. To eradicate the taboo of periods in social situations around the world.

Recently, we have been incredibly blessed and humbled to have been given so many incredible opportunities by so many compassionate and generous people. Whenever we are presented with an opportunity or decision, we consider how it aligns with either of our goals before we choose to go ahead with it or not. When someone approached us offering to organise TABOO to be the major sponsor of an Aus Touring car at the Clipsal at no cost to us, we were super excited! What an awesome way to create conversation in the traditionally ‘blokey’ environment of the Clipsal? And what better way to challenge stereotypes than having a bright pink car on the track with a massive TABOO logo on the side?

Unfortunately, this plan fell through and we were unable to have a car on the track. But we were still determined to be at the Clipsal! So we found sponsorship through Laser Vision SA, One Rundle Trading Co and Marshall & Brougham who were able to fund us being on the ground as promotional staff.

The Weekend

Our Clipsal journey officially began on Thursday. We were busy getting t-shirts made, flyers printed   and volunteers organised.

By Friday we were pumped and ready to smash the Clipsal! In the morning, we quickly put together a pretty basic intro video for the Clipsal, and then we were on the road to Victoria Park! On the Friday, our legendary, gorgeous, fantastic friend Naomi Crosby (on the right) kindly volunteered her time to join us for the day! <3 <3

Walking around the Clipsal grounds, handing out 2000 flyers, making conversation with the people there and interviewing them was certainly an amazing experience! Although when creating initial conversation with the Clipsal goers, the social stigma around menstruation was certainly evident. As soon as the words ‘period’ ‘menstruation’ or ‘feminine hygiene’ were used, many of the men refused to take part in conversation. A lot of women even felt uncomfortable discussing the topic – despite having to face it every month! But that didn’t phase us! We were still determined to make the most of the weekend, and make the most of every conversation we had the chance to make. We left at the end of the day, satisfied with handing out 1000 flyers, and excited to have had some very interesting and encouraging conversations with lots of different people. Some people even mentioned that they were already following us on social media!! WOOHOO!!!

On the Saturday, we started early with our beautiful volunteer Rachael Connor (sitting in the middle). You may be able to tell – Rachael is Eloise’s sister (there are some fabulous genes in that fam!) Our task was to hand out the last 1000 flyers and we managed  to achieve the goal in a fairly short amount of time 😀 We met some amazing people along the way, many of which were incredibly shocked by the lack of sanitary care in Developing Countries around the world. We finished up with a hot dog and a quick shout out to our sponsors!  By

Sunday, we were fairly tired, but knew that we  needed to get some footage from the weekend. So we rustled up all the energy we could and called on the help of our fantastic friend Harriet Hewitson – btw how beautiful is she?! All of our lovely volunteers look like they could be related don’t you think?? Maybe we need some more blondes on board to mix things up a little…

So we found a perfect spot to bed down, set up our banners and started chatting to people as they walked past. We got together some stats and asked people to guess that stats on camera and shocked them with the true figures…

Q: What percentage of reproductive diseases are caused by lack of basic menstrual hygiene in India? A: 70%

Q: In Sierra Leone, what percentage of women have never heard of a sanitary pad? A: 90%

Q:What percentage of girls drop out of school every year in India because of their periods? A: 23%

Clipsal was an amazing experience! We are so fortunate to have been there, having amazing conversations with lots of amazing people. We all agreed that the injustices that the women in Developing Countries must face on their period is absolute appalling and completely unnecessary.

Other than the face to face promotion, a few other exciting and unexpected things happened! On Sunday night, we received an influx of Instagram followers and were slightly confused as to why they had all decided to follow us at the same time! We woke up Monday morning and discovered the source of our followers – an Instagram account called ShitAdelaide :’) They had made a post about the obscurity of finding a business selling pads and tampons at the Clipsal 500 – and we don’t blame them! In fact, we were really quite chuffed to feature on an Instagram with 36k + followers! Thanks  ShitAdelaide! We’re big fans! The comments were so encouraging as well – @unrealistic_op_shop_prices commented “Bleeding love I like it” ezzalenko_youbeauty commented “Much rather these than grid girls that do sweet fa” and @shitadelaide said “this company is really quite clever – promoting a feminine product in a traditionally blokey environment – we gave them a free plug!”

THANKS GUYS! <3 <3 Can’t wait to keep smashing the taboo of periods!! Woohoo!!

Isobel Marshall

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