Thank you for wanting to learn more about TABOO! We are so excited to share our story with you, and are so grateful to have you on board. Enjoy!
– Eloise Hall & Isobel Marshall (Co-Founders and Co-Directors)
How It Started
In January 2016, Bond University hosted a leadership conference designed for the school captains of schools around Australia. We were both very excited to take part, but didn’t expect that it would mark the start of an idea like TABOO! Inspiring keynote speakers left us with an overwhelming sense of responsibility to use our blessed circumstances to help those in need, and gave us the courage to do just that. By the end of the weekend, we had decided that we wanted to change the lives of women who don’t have access to the simple necessities that we do. We began researching, and discovered just how much work was to be done in the area of menstrual health in Developing Countries.
Around the world, the concept of a period is completely taboo, and as a result, women and girls are made to feel degraded and dehumanised while they bleed. Incredibly unhygienic and unhealthy consequences arise because the girls don’t have access to the safe resources and education they deserve. Many of these girls also experience emotional and relational trauma whilst menstruating. It is not fair that these girls and women are forced to be ostracised once a month from school, work or social interactions, simply because of their period.
- Many girls must leave school for a week every month, leading to approximately 30% of girls in developing parts of the world dropping out of school when they hit puberty.
- “73 percent of interviewed Bangladeshi garment workers reported they miss work for an average of six days per month (resulting in unpaid work days) due to vaginal infections caused by unsanitary menstrual materials”.
- 83% of girls in Burkina Faso and 77% in Niger have no place to change their sanitary menstrual materials at school.
- 70% of all reproductive diseases in India are caused by poor menstrual hygiene .
- In Sierra Leone, only 10% of the women and girls surveyed had ever heard of a sanitary pad.
- When girls have their periods, they can lose up to 12 weeks of school each year.
We decided that the only way to see sustainable change in this area would be if people in Australia contributed money towards menstrual projects through everyday living costs. We wanted to make this happen by offering an essential product to the Australian market, from which profits could be used to fund menstrual projects! This is how the concept of TABOO arose. Our vision is to sell sanitary pads and tampons to women in Australia, using all profits to ensure that women around the world have access to sanitary care.
We have contacted countless manufacturers to ensure that our product will be amazing quality and align well with our mission. Our chosen manufacturer is based in Barcelona and is able to make TABOO branded pads and tampons in 100% organic cotton! The amazing thing about this factory is that it runs off hydroelectricity produced by the stream nearby!
In 2017, we visited this manufacturer, and were blown away with their high standard, high quality and the culture of their workplace.
Our product is likely to be available for purchase mid 2019, however we cannot make any promises at this stage.
Eloise devoted her gap year in 2017 to growing TABOO. Alongside this, she worked at the local pub and travelled through Europe for 5 weeks. In 2018, she will start a double degree in Business and International Studies at Flinders University.
Isobel also dedicated her gap year to TABOO. From April to July, she worked in Paris as a Nanny, working on TABOO from cafés and exploring the city. In Adelaide, she works at the local café. In 2018, she will begin studying medicine at The University of Adelaide.