By buying certain tampons, western women can send menstrual products to poorer countries

Menstruation is getting its moment: there have been tampon selfies, tampon tax campaigns around the world, and even a day dedicated to menstrual hygiene. Now, a growing crop of companies is promising consumers they can help bring sanitary products to women who cannot afford them.

Buy a pack of pads and a supply will be donated to a woman in a developing country. It’s a bit like Toms shoes, the original one-for-one social enterprise, but for tampons. In the US, such companies have grown rapidly in popularity. Among them is L., founded by Talia Frenkel, a photojournalist who worked for the Red Cross and UN. It now sells its products in stores across the US, and distributes sanitary products and condoms through a network of more than 3,000 “female entrepreneurs” in poorer countries, including Uganda, Sierra Leone, Liberia and India. The company says it will donate more than 28 million health products this year.

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