For a phenomenon that affects (or has affected or will affect) half the world’s population, it’s still tough to make the menstrual cycle sexy. Sure, a new tampon startup seems to pop up every season, but how many of them are actually interesting enough to warrant investment? Answer: Cora, the company that can’t necessarily fix your cramps, mood swings, or PMS, but may make you feel better by donating to a great cause every time you order tampons. In fact, for every month’s supply of Cora you order, the company will give a free month’s supply of sustainable pads to a young lady in a developing country.
Really, it’s Cora’s cause that sets it apart from the multitude of similar startups that have recently appeared on the scene. While organic cotton tampons are nothing new, the social impact of the company’s outreach program is one that will almost make having your period worth it. The idea behind the mission was first developed two years ago, when Molly Hayward made a trip to Africa to teach English. She soon noticed (and was perturbed by the fact) that girls missed class for about a week every month, putting them at a distinct disadvantage. The culprit? Their periods, and their lack of access to proper sanitary products.
“I’d been in Kenya, and I was meeting girls on this trip who would miss school during their periods because they couldn’t afford sanitary pads,” Hayward told Teen Vogue. “I was outraged and moved and inspired.”
At around the same time, serial entrepreneur Morgen Newman was tasked with buying a box of tampons for his wife — when he went to the drug store, he found a box that was “big and pink and covered in a floral pattern. This product was not made for this woman, or any of our peers, or my sisters, or any of my female friends,” he told the magazine. “I’m looking at it, and it’s a candy bar wrapper.”
This realization spawned a strange passion — Newman began researching the ins and outs of the feminine care industry, and realized that, “The average American woman is using 10,000 tampons in her life. In a day and age when we buy organic groceries at Costco, and we buy brands that are more sustainable and better for our bodies, I just thought the consumer deserves a better choice for their lifestyle.”
When Hayward and Newman were introduced by a mutual friend, they combined forces — Hayward with her socially responsible mission, and Newman with his insistence upon creating a better designed product.
And so, Cora was born. Discreetly packaged in small, black, almost lipstick-like tubes, your monthly shipment (because who has time to go to the store for anything anymore) comes in a beautifully designed black box that is meant to serve one purpose — hold your tampons. It’s a box you’d actually want to see every day, rather than the loud eyesores that most other tampon packages tend to be.
Also included in the shipment is a small black satchel that’ll hold a few individual tampons for your life on the go, because there’s nothing worse than having Aunt Flo catch you off guard. And if you ever need to save another woman from an embarrassing leak, you can hand out a tampon with a referral code that turns these feminine products into powerful marketing tools. Finally, with Cora’s partnership with “social enterprise organizations globally that are revolutionizing period management,” each purchase will be empowering women and girls in need.
So start your order — pick the number of tampons, the absorbency level, and delivery frequency, and get behind a tampon startup that is so much more than what meets the eye.