SALTIE SHAKER: Cora | Woman for Woman and Month for Month
What if the tampons, pads, and pantyliners you purchased every month automatically provided free supplies to a girl living in a developing country so she can stay in school, play with her friends, and be proud of her womanhood? Sounds almost too good to be true, right?
That’s exactly the mission of this fantastic new “woman for woman” startup called Cora. It’s genius, really. Cora is a new subscription box service delivering sustainable, non-toxic, chemical-free feminine products, plus tea and sweets like chocolate to you and I every month, while donating a box of biodegradable, locally-manufactured sanitary pads to girls in India, on the order of TOMS, but with a female empowerment twist.
Founder Molly Hayward, a 26-year-old entrepreneur and women’s rights activist, was inspired to launch the idea behind Cora after encountering a young girl in an African village who had stayed home from school because she had her period and couldn’t afford sanitary pads. Unfortunately, this is not unusual. Many girls in the developing world are faced with the decision every day to skip school or even drop out because of the lack of supplies or the embarrassment and still-taboo “unpurity” of their menstrual cycle. The statistics are unsettling to say the least:
In India, only 12% of girls and women have access to and can afford sanitary pads, and 56% have a poor understanding of menstrual hygiene and personal health. Not surprisingly, 23% of girls in India drop out of school when they reach puberty. These figures mirror those of girls across the developing world in Africa, South America, and Asia.
Not only is Cora helping women and girls manage their cycles, and therefore stay in school, they are making a very real and social impact. Starting in India, Cora has teamed up with international non-profit, Village Volunteers, and Aakar Innovations who, through their Water Hyacinth Sanitary Pad initiative, are building local woman-owned and operated manufacturing cooperatives to produce pads made from water hyacinth and other natural plant fibers (because have you ever looked at what goes into most feminine hygiene products? see: the dangers of rayon and dioxin.) By being a for-profit company, Cora can use the power of the market to drive social change and use their profits to continue helping the girls and women of the world.
We are so inspired by this and we hope you are, too! Cora is currently in the midst of a crowdfunding campaign on Plum Alley, a platform providing support to female-led businesses. They’re just over a third of the way to their fundraising goal and need your help to make it all happen. The more financial support they receive from all of us, the more they can do for the rest of the world!
Check out Cora’s campaign video below featuring an inspiring message from founder Molly Hayward. Head over to their campaign page to make a contribution and start receiving your handy monthly box of the highest quality organic menstrual management products from Natracare.
*The Periodical approved!*