âI believe in a world where there are freely available menstrual products wherever you go,â said Claire Coder, CEO of Aunt Flow.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Most people don’t think twice about disposing of toilet paper in the United States, but what menstrual products?
10TV spoke with a local woman on a mission to change this.
“I’m like, ‘If toilet paper is free, why aren’t tampons and towels? “” Claire Coder told 10TV, recalling an embarrassing moment she had in public several years ago.
Six years later, Coder is the founder and CEO of Aunt Flow, working to end the stigma surrounding the rules and make vintage products accessible to as many people as possible, including students.
“You’re a college girl, you’re on your period, you’re in the bathroom, and then what are you going to do?” Walk to the nurse’s office, ask the nurse for a menstrual product, (and then) go back to the bathroom? At this point, there’s so much shame inside that it’s really counterproductive, âCoder said.
To 2021 Research report “State of the period” surveyed 1,010 menstruating students, ages 13-19.
Research found that 23% of college students struggled to afford vintage products. Sixteen percent chose to buy period products over food or clothing due to the pandemic.
Seventy percent of students say the school environment makes them particularly embarrassed by their period.
âThinking about the impact of the pandemic on middle, elementary and high school menstruation, it is really very important that these products are accessible as they come back because we can see the impact directly on their performance at school and their attendance. at school, âCoder said.
Columbus School for Girls is one of many schools in central Ohio to partner with Aunt Flow to turn that narrative around by offering free menstrual products in their bathrooms.
âWe serve students aged three to 18, so all of our students start their period while they are in CSG,â said Jennifer Ciccarelli, principal of the Columbus School for Girls. â(At) first it might seem a bit awkward. So the simple act of changing bodies is embarrassing for them and then having to go to an adult and ask for a menstrual product is really a hindrance and also a waste of time.
One issue that was raised initially, Ciccarelli told 10TV, was the cost of the school’s partnership with Aunt Flow.
âIn terms of the general amount, it’s about $ 5 to $ 10 per student or employee, per year,â Coder said.
It’s a cost, Ciccarelli explained, that is worth it.
âJust like we provide toilet paper, soap and paper towels in our bathrooms, why don’t we provide menstrual products to all of our students? ” she said.
While Columbus School for Girls has a unique setup for their Aunt Flow products, the company’s distributors can be found at other local schools like Worthington Schools, Upper Arlington City Schools, Capital University and Otterbein University, to name a few.
Aunt Flow now serves all states of the United States, working with companies like Google, Twitter, Netflix, and Disney.
âI believe in a world where there are freely available menstrual products wherever you go and we’re going to keep working until we get there,â Coder said.
To learn more about how to partner with Aunt Flow at your school or business, visit Go to the Aunt Flow website.