Fighting Period Poverty in the UK
As well as playing our part in living more sustainably, we’re doing our bit to end the injustice of period poverty. And by swapping your disposables for Eco Lily reusable period pads, you’ll be doing your bit too. Because even the littlest changes add up to pretty big ones.
Every year, period poverty affects millions of women and girls around the world who can’t afford or access safe sanitary protection. While it’s a global issue, you may be surprised to know that period poverty is also a widespread problem here in the UK. Which is why we want to speak out about it and use our products to do even more good.
The shocking stats
All women and girls should have access to sanitary protection during their period, but sadly that’s not the reality for many. Far from it.
Even before Covid, period poverty was a big issue in some of our communities. Women and girls from all walks of life simply can’t afford sanitary products. Free pads or tampons from school, work, or foodbanks have become their lifeline.
But when the pandemic hit, it affected the delivery of free sanitary products, leaving vulnerable women and girls in a desperate situation. A survey in 2021 revealed just how shocking the situation has become.
36% of girls aged 14-21 in the UK have struggled to afford or access period products during the pandemic, up a fifth on last year. This is the equivalent of one million girls. And half of these girls did not have enough money to buy period products at all at some point during the past year. 73% of them had to resort to using toilet paper as an alternative.
A toxic trio
Period poverty isn’t just driven by the cost of menstrual products. For some, it’s down to a lack of education around periods and menstrual health. For others, there’s a taboo, shame and stigma attached to menstruation, which creates a culture of keeping quiet about periods. These women and girls are either too afraid or too embarrassed to say they need sanitary products. Together with affordability, these reasons combined make up a ‘toxic trio’ that causes period poverty.
Period poverty seriously impacts the daily lives of girls and women around the UK. It can affect everything from their mental health to job opportunities. These women could be our family members, friends, neighbours, colleagues. And they are suffering needlessly.
Freedom4Girls is a UK-registered charity tirelessly fighting against period poverty. Their work challenges the stigmas, taboos and gender inequalities attached to menstruation. The charity provides menstrual health and empowerment education. They also donate period products, with a focus on product choice and supporting environmentally and financially sustainable options.
We’re thrilled to be supporting Freedom4Girls with their amazing mission. Since 2020 we’ve been donating 100s of our reusable sanitary pads to Freedom4Girls. These are then distributed to help those who need them most within our communities.
In December 2021, we went even further by donating one Eco Lily reusable period pad to Freedom4Girls for every single box purchased. As you know, our pads can be used again and again and again, so each one really does count. And though we’re not ones to boast, we’re really proud to say that with your help we’ve made another substantial donation.
Want to do a bit more?
Making the switch to Eco Lily is more than just a great step towards living more sustainably. You’ll know that by supporting our products, you’ll also be supporting the life-changing work of Freedom4Girls. How good is that?
Of course, if you want to do more, there are lots of ways you can help Freedom4Girls, from donating your reusable pads to campaigning and volunteering.