Ping pong tables, beer on tap and soundproofed ‘sleep pods’ are just some of the things companies provide for their staff, but how many cater for the most essential needs of their female employees? To coincide with this year’s International Women’s Day, organic period-care brand Freda have unveiled their Period Manifesto, encouraging workplaces to provide free pads and tampons for their employees – and are even offering a free month’s supply.
Period products are vital for the health, well-being and full participation in day-to-day activities of women and girls globally. Research shows that 86% of women have started their period unexpectedly. They report feeling panicked, stressed, and embarrassed. What do women do? Dash out for an emergency tampon run? Hope your colleague has a spare? Or deal with a toilet paper substitute?
‘Societal taboos and stigma have meant that the menstrual needs of women have so far been overlooked. In 2018, period products should be regarded as an essential, and budgeted for accordingly – after all, we’re not expected to carry around our own toilet paper, or buy it from vending machines. Tampon smuggling has to stop!’, says Freda founder Affi Parvizi-Wayne.
‘Once you start thinking about it, it becomes a no-brainer, and it’s encouraging that progressive companies like Google and Spotify are beginning to take women’s needs into account. This small step sends a big message to employees’, adds Parvizi-Wayne.
Freda’s mission is to encourage open and honest conversation around periods, removing the stigma and embarrassment associated with the subject which negatively impacts women in their everyday lives. For an average cost of £10 an employee per year, organisations can demonstrate their commitment to true inclusion and equality in their workspace by taking this practical step towards addressing their needs. There is strict legislation requiring employers to provide female staff and customers with a ‘discreet and hygienic place to dispose of feminine hygiene waste’, and Freda are advocating for change in regulations to allow period care products to become mandatory.
Freda offers corporate bulk subscriptions delivered monthly, ensuring that they can be incorporated seamlessly into office bathrooms. As a further incentive Freda will offer a free month’s delivery of period-care products to workplaces that sign up to a subscription here – and use the code ‘fredaIWD’. What’s more, a Freda subscription can fulfil corporate social responsibility commitments as a portion of their profits goes directly to initiatives tackling period poverty. There is also a referral feature, making it simple and straightforward for individuals to refer their office.
Freda’s Period Manifesto which can be viewed here is unveiled on International Women’s Day and aims to combat the widespread stigma and misinformation around menstruation with a series of practical steps towards ultimately normalising periods.
Each point contains actionable advice around education, conversation and, crucially, access. They advocate that:
- Period products are an essential not a luxury
- Periods are a sign of health
- Periods are normal, not shameful
- Periods are private, not secret
- Transparency of ingredients for such an intimate product
- Period products should be sustainable and responsible
Freda launched in January 2018 and is aimed at modern, health- and socially-conscious women. Made in eco-certified factories in Scandinavia and Central Europe with over 70 years of expertise, Freda tampons are made from 100% naturally-absorbent, breathable, hypoallergenic organic cotton for enhanced protection and comfort – and are free from the chemicals and synthetic fibres found elsewhere, making them kinder to you and the environment.
Its online subscription service allows you to select your own combination of products and absorbencies based on your period, and its period tracker syncs the delivery of your products to your cycle. Freda is on a mission to break down period taboos, which have contributed in part to the opaque nature of the industry, by discussing the topic openly. The company has been created for women by women – and they give back to women as a portion of every Freda purchase is donated to initiatives worldwide tackling period poverty.
Named after Freyja who, in Norse mythology, is a goddess associated with love, sex, beauty and fertility, Freda believes that transparency and openness is key to creating a generational change in attitudes towards periods, and helps to bust myths, break taboos and normalise conversations.
A Freda subscription costs around £3.50 for 8 including postage and packaging. A Freda box contains 16 and can be purchased through this link.