Let’s start at the very beginning and go back to basics. Periods happen. Some people love them, others not so much, either way half the world’s population will have to endure them and yet millions of years of civilization later, it’s still such a huge taboo to even talk about them.
Tampons and pads are carried around so discreetly because god forbid someone finds out that we might be menstruating! Seriously though, it makes no sense to me as to why we’re still stuck with this thought process?
I’ve recently been campaigning to help those who are homeless and on their periods and I have had an overwhelming response to my little campaign. Being proud of your femininity, owning it and helping others to do the same is an issue that’s very close to my heart; so you can imagine the excitement I felt when Lizzie Earl from ‘Little Things For Good’ got in touch to tell me all about her current business venture – Tampon Tins That Tell It Like It Is.
These nifty little tins offer us great storage solutions for storing tampons, as opposed to having one floating around in your bag wedged between an old Starbucks napkin and receipts from 2007. Not only are they incredibly handy, they’re frickin’ hilarious.
There are four different, equally witty designs -There Will Be Blood, Blood Sweat Tears, Crime Scene in My Pants and Life’s Little Bleeding Luxury. Each retailing at £10 each, which I know might seem a little steep but don’t let the price point put you off because a percentage of each sale gives back to those that are in need (including St Mungo’s the homeless charity, yay!). The whole business venture sounds pretty bloody (pun definitely intended) amazing and I was so pleased that Lizzie was able to answer some questions for me and tell me a little bit more.
1. Hi Lizzie! Tell us a little bit about yourself and what Little Things for Good is all about?
A. I’m a travel and fitness junkie from London, living in Hong Kong. Work wise. Day to day I’m a creative and publicity specialist, so I work with brands and agencies around the world to help them come up with creative ways to raise awareness for campaigns, products and causes.
I love what I do, but I have always wanted to use the skills I have to make a difference somehow – even if it’s just a little. Working with designers for many years, I’m a sucker for beautiful typography, design and illustration and I was always coming up with quirky ideas and concepts for other people so just decided to put this all together and create Little Things for Good – a socially conscious brand that supports causes by designing innovative and creative products that look awesome.
2. The Tampon Tins are genius! Where did the idea come about from?
A. Thank you! The reaction has been tremendous, everyone who sees them laughs, loves them and wants one. Growing up surrounded by strong women I’ve never felt embarrassed about my femininity and so the taboo around periods has always both intrigued and amused me. Last year I was in Vietnam travelling to Halong Bay from Hanoi – which is a reeeeally long drive – so I had four hours to myself to think about what the first project for Little Things for Good should be.
I’d read articles about the homeless period issue before and it had really struck a chord with me. Randomly the week before my trip a tampon had flown out my bag when I was getting a notepad out during a meeting, so I decided that women needed to something to help organise their ‘vadmin’. I wanted to deisgn a holder that was actually cool to look at though, not something that looks like a pair of granny knickers with dated pink prints that pretend everything’s all rosy.
I remember thinking, “we’re the ones who have to deal with them, why should cover them up for other people’s benefit”. I wanted the holder to have sass and help to challenge the taboo as well as support charities that help homeless and refugee women during probably one of the most challenging times in their life.
What I love about the tins is that if you didn’t know what was inside, you probably wouldn’t connect the dots and just think it’s a really cool tin, so they do still have a level of discretion. (Ok, maybe not the Crime Scene In My Pants one…!)
3. How are your tins helping those in real need?
A. For each and every tin sold, 15% of proceeds is donated to two fantastic charities – St. Mungo’s Broadway, which helps people recover from the issues that create homelessness, and Hong Kong’s Sunshine Action, which works to reduce suffering in the poorest areas across Asia.
Both these charities will be using the funds raised to provide homeless and refugee women with sanitary products and to support the work they do rebuilding women’s lives.
As well as donating to these charities, the tins are helping to challenge the taboo. Every time someone sees your Tampon Tin That Tells It Like It Is, the taboo unravels a bit. It starts a conversation, it highlights how funny we are talking about it which is a real problem considering that there are millions of women who have to have their period without access to the supplies we take for granted. If we can’t talk about it, how can we start to address it?
4. Why do you think it’s important women embrace their periods as opposed to hiding them?
A. I think it is as important as embracing anything that makes us who we are. It’s not embarrassing or disgusting. The female cycle is a wondrous thing.
That said, day to day – as women know – periods can bloody (sorry) suck! I think women put up with them pretty well, without complaint. It is a huge part of our life, it affects our mood day to day without us realising but we’re never really taught to embrace it, discuss it, get to really understand it or be empowered by it.
Embracing them is merely embracing life and embracing our true selves.
5. Where can we purchase one for ourselves?
A. All four tins are available at www.littlethingsforgood.com and to celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month the donation made for each tin will be doubled to provide sanitary supplies to even more women.
If you already have one, they’re perfect as a lovely quirky gift to get for your female friends and relatives – they are definitely a talking point and, just as importantly, they keep sanitary stuff organised in a stylish and engaging way that does a little good.
What are your thoughts on the Tampon Tins?