Riding the crimson wave. Having a visit from Aunt Flo. Shark Week. The Red Wedding. There’s a million and one different code names for it, not to mention a million and one different feminine hygiene products out there on the market. But there’s one brand spanking new company that stands out from the crowd: TABOO.
TABOO is the brilliant brainchild of local Radelaidians and up-and-coming young entrepreneurs Isobel Marshall and Eloise Hall. In the summer of 2016 on the cusp on their senior year, the pair were inspired to create positive change after attending a leadership conference and listening to several empowering keynote speakers. Little did they know that this thought-provoking experience would prove invaluable and spark a three year journey that would result in the creation of their own business and social enterprise.
After brainstorming and researching ways in which our purchases could also better lives across the globe, the pair honed in on the menstrual hygiene market; an often overlooked industry that over half of Australians rely so heavily upon month-to-month. But what about the rest of the globe? Did you know that as soon as they get their first period, 30% of girls in developing countries will drop out of school for good? This is an unfortunate reality caused by a lack of menstrual health care and education, not to mention a lack of access to sanitary feminine hygiene products.
And so began the dynamic duo’s mission to reduce period poverty, one tampon and pad at a time. After winning Unley’s young entrepreneurship program Fish Tank in 2016 and non-for-profit Startup Weekend Adelaide in early 2017, Isobel and Eloise then decided to expand their horizons by educating local social groups and schools. Not only did they focus on banishing the taboo surrounding periods (as their company name aptly suggests), but they also spread awareness about the state of menstrual hygiene in developing countries and how everyday Australians can also help in reducing period poverty.
TABOO‘s efforts culminated in early 2018, when a groundbreaking crowdfunding campaign raised a whopping $56,000 – enough to pay for the first batch of TABOO branded organic cotton pads and tampons to be shipped and sold in Australia!
On Thursday 22 August, Isobel and Eloise were finally able to officially launch their conscientious company and share their important message with not only all their family, friends, loved ones and the broader Adelaide community – but also with the rest of the world.
The University of South Australia’s future-focused museum MOD. played host to the evening’s celebrations, being completely transformed with balloons, pink mood lighting and even a flower-decorated photo backdrop that incorporated the crate from TABOO‘s first ever shipment of pads and tampons!
Gus Love and the team from Bread & Bone Wood Grill (where Eloise also happens to work part-time) provided a unique selection of canapes, each of which contained scarlet-coloured elements to match TABOO‘s signature colours of pink and red. Local wineries Bird in Hand, Silent Noise, Landhaus and Marble Hill were also serving up their finest wines -0–alongside plenty of beer and other beverages at the bar all evening long. Radelaidian rockers The Young Offenders kept the good times rolling and provided plenty of rad tunes for guests to hit the dance floor and let loose.
A seemingly endless grazing table of both sweet and savoury delights tantalised guests’ tastebuds, carefully pieced together by one of TABOO‘s beloved original volunteers Grace Liebelt of Gracing Tables.
Tying it all together was a picture perfect cake to top all cakes, intricately decorated with fondant icing and stamped with the unforgettable TABOO logo.
TABOO‘s broad range of products were also on show and sale throughout the night, ranging from their organic cotton pads and tampons, to branded merchandise such as stubby holders and t-shirts. 100% of all profits go towards One Girl, a Melbournian charity aiming to deliver affordable sanitary products, menstruation education and scholarships to young women and their communities in locations such as Sierra Leone and Uganda. If the name sounds familiar, you may have heard of their Do It In A Dress campaign which went viral not too long ago. TABOO have also partnered with the Vinnies Crisis Centre, offering customers the opportunity to purchase pads and tampons to go directly to women in emergency housing throughout South Australia.
To top it all off, TABOO‘s pads and tampons are also environmentally friendly! TABOO have traced and minimised their carbon footprint throughout the entire manufacturing process, even ensuring their factory harnesses hydroelectricity collected from a water stream on the very same property. Each pad and tampon is also crafted from ethically sourced organic cotton, which degrades at a much quicker rate than synthetic materials used by several other brands. Last but certainly not least, the very adorably packaged boxes that cradle each cotton creation are also made from recycled cardboard that can also be recycled, completing the cardboard circle of life.
TABOO is well and truly making crimson waves (had to sprinkle in a period pun somewhere), and we are so here for it! A massive congratulations goes out to Isobel and Eloise on a highly successful launch, and endless thanks goes to Girl About Town for inviting us to join in on celebrating such a momentous occasion!