These Genius Pads Help Girls Stay in School & Are Good for the Planet
A feminine hygiene social enterprise supporting women in need.
You’ve probably heard this statistic before but that doesn’t mean it is any less shocking the second time around.
Around 60 million girls are not in school. Those that are in school, miss out on up to a week of school every month when they get their period.
A lack of proper toilets, no privacy and nowhere to wash your hands is enough to make anyone panic. But what if you had your period and not a tampon, pad, menstrual cup or even toilet paper in sight? It’s enough to make you stay home.
It’s just not fair. It means girls start to fall behind, struggle in class and eventually drop out.
Enter Tsuno. This social enterprise makes and sells sanitary pads and we’ve never seen a cooler looking box of pads! Tsuno packaging features designs by Australian artists. But that’s not the only thing that makes them so cool.
Founder Roz was studying industrial design when, one thing led to another and she found herself researching the world of feminine hygiene. She was shocked to discover the amount of chemicals and bleach used in the of making of sanitary products. Not something you want close to your body! What was even worse was the amount of plastic going into these disposable products, that after only a few hours use end up in landfill for hundreds of thousands of years.
Around the same time she discovered the charity One Girl who after sending girls to school in Sierre Leone realised they weren’t attending for days at a time and eventually dropping out. They quickly learnt it was because the girls didn’t have access to sanitary products to manage their periods.
Roz decided to take part in One Girl’s annual fundraising challenge that involved doing what many women in developing countries have to resort to — using leaves, rags, newspaper, and kitchen sponges while on their period. She quickly gave up the challenge. “I really felt something strong, for a woman to be in the position that bark is her best option, that definitely is not a good position,” said Roz.
All of this led Roz to seek a way to help and so she decided to develop sustainable pads with a difference.
“Bamboo is one of the most eco-friendly and sustainable fibres available due to its fast growth-rate, low demands on resources and natural resistance to pests and fungi. It is also super absorbent, breathable, soft and comfortable, antibacterial, and just generally amazing!”
Now if that isn’t eco-friendly enough for you, they are also researching and developing a 100% biodegradable product.
The brand’s name is inspired by cartoon character Yoko Tsuno “who was the epitome of a competent woman. She was an engineer, a pilot, a scuba diver, amongst many other great things. Nothing really held her back, and definitely not her period. I liked the name. It's good. Tsuno is good,” said Roz.
The company donates 50% of all profits to organisations that seek to empower women, focussing on education and menstrual support. They currently have an agreement with One Girl and have also donated to The International Women's Development Agency, Share the Dignity, The Asylum Seekers Resource Centre and Essentials for Women South Australia.
Tsuno is currently running a pozible campaign to help them start sourcing and selling 100% organic cotton tampons.
We love a social enterprise.
Imagine if every business operated in this way and donated a percentage of their profits to do good. It would be a different world out there.
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