3 MIN READ
This Company Gives Away Feminine Hygiene Products If You Pay For Shipping
The good news: Some states are finally eliminating tax on feminine hygiene products.
The bad news: The pink tax — a premium charge for women’s products simply because they are dressed up in pink and flowers — is still alive and well around the country.
Until the U.S. begins taking its cue from Scotland by giving out free sanitary products, all people who have periods can do is look for ways to save a few bucks on necessities.
Knotty Vibes, a startup co-founded by Sheila Oh and Courtney Davis, wants to give people who can’t afford feminine-hygiene products free access to the supplies they need to empower them to manage their reproductive health.
Knotty Vibes its offers customers free menstrual cups and reusable pads, no purchase required. Simply place your order through the company’s website, pay a small shipping fee and the discreetly packaged products arrive in about a week and a half (longer for orders outside the U.S.).
I caught up with Oh to learn more about the program and its products.
“Women already spend $18,000 a year on feminine-hygiene products, not including tax,” Oh said. “I don’t think it’s fair for anyone with a reproductive system to spend that kind of money when we’re already only making 80 cents on the dollar.”
People use them for a variety of reasons, like lessening the impact of discarded sanitary products on the environment, saving money and keeping chemically treated products away from their bodies.
At a glance, it may seem the cups and pads are more difficult to work with than tampons and disposable pads, but Oh said they are “pretty low-maintenance.”
“Using the pads is very, very simple,” Oh said. “Just wash it with cold water, rinse in cold water and throw it in the washer with everything else. It won’t stain or damage your clothes.”
Oh said menstrual cups should be rinsed after emptying and boiled after every few uses.
The pads are designed for medium and light flow, but Oh doesn’t recommend them for heavier- flow days.
“For heavy flow, I recommend the cup because it can handle it and be used for up to eight hours,” she said.
There are no restrictions on how many cups and pads customers can order.
“You can get as many as you want. We want people to give them out to their friends and family,” Oh said.
Shipping costs to a U.S. address begin at $7.99 for one of either product and $10.99 for any combination of the two. Customers outside the U.S. may have higher shipping fees because of shipping methods and customs costs.
“Shipping is not free because it’s an extra cost that keeps us from giving back to organizations,” Oh said. “We want to stay as lean as possible so we can give back as much as possible.”
The company’s charity extends beyond giving away free products. In partnership with the social- activism nonprofit Pledgling, Knotty Vibes divides a portion of all proceeds between 12 women's wellness organizations.
Lisa McGreevy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She enjoys telling readers about affordable ways to stay healthy, so look her up on Twitter (@lisah) if you’ve got a tip to share.