Menstruation should be accepted as a normal bodily function; it shouldn’t be a taboo. This is why manufacturers like einhorn are making packaging for their menstrual hygiene products especially eye-catching and colourful. Photo: www.einhorn.my
A real stunner: Menstrual hygiene products
Taboos around menstruation were set to become a thing of the past when marathon runner Kiran Gandhi decided to run the entire 26.2 miles of the London Marathon without using any menstrual hygiene products in 2015 and Indian-Canadian writer Rupi Kaur posted graphic photos of her period on Instagram.
Since then, periods have been discussed and written about frequently: free bleeding, alternative options for menstrual hygiene, menstrual cups, menstrual sponge tampons, period pants, period poverty or period bags - the momentum that this topic has picked up is illustrated clearly on the pharmacy shelves.
TAMPONS, SANITARY TOWELS, PADS - PACKAGING GOES BIG AND BOLD
Manufacturers are really letting their imaginations loose when it comes to creating packaging for new period products and are using the surface of packaging in a targeted manner by displaying smart quotes in dazzling colours to get their message across. One example of this is the Berlin-based company einhorn, which originally only produced condoms. Now, the company’s hipster founders Philip Siefer and Waldemar Zeiler proffer a full range of menstrual hygiene products in loud, colourful packaging and bring a lot of attention to the topic of menstruation via public appearances.
“Look at me!” is the message that aims to eradicate period-shaming. Photo: www.einhorn.my
Menstruation products in the public eye
The Female Company also grabbed the public’s attention in 2019 by designing a tampon book. They sold tampons disguised as a book so that they could be sold with reduced VAT of just 7%, thus making a statement against the “luxury products tax” of 19% which is levied on menstrual hygiene products.
The campaign proved to be a success. As of 2020, menstrual hygiene products are no longer taxed as luxury products in Germany but are instead categorised as a basic necessity product and are sold at a VAT rate of 7%. A few manufacturers used the change in the tax rate to increase the net price of their product, which has been criticised in retrospect. Countries such as Canada, Scotland, Kenya and India do not levy any taxes on menstrual hygiene products and Scotland is set to provide tampons and sanitary towels free of charge in public locations such as pharmacies and youth clubs in the future.
Tampons & Co. – simply put, beautifully packaged
To bring menstrual products out of their niche status, manufacturers like The Female Company are selling their menstrual products in sophisticated packaging with an elegant design. The #supersexy boxes are the result of working in collaboration with female artists and are guaranteed to elevate any bathroom. They’re also perfect for your office desk, as a symbol to male and female colleagues alike. The times in which women had to discreetly ask to borrow tampons or sanitary towels with plain packaging are now a thing of the past.
Menstrual hygiene products in sexy packaging: The Female Company wants to break taboos, make periods sexy and ensure that every woman has tampons available to them any time, anywhere.
Sustainable packaging for menstrual products
Simultaneously, service providers are setting store by sustainable solutions for products and packaging. As tampons, sanitary towels and pads are often made from organic cotton, their packaging should also be recyclable as far as possible, and/or be made from renewable and biodegradable raw materials.
The Hamburg-based company MYLILY packages its sanitary towels individually in Mater-Bi bioplastic, which is made of corn starch and is biodegradable. The outer packaging is made from a combination of kraft paper and polylactide (PLA), which is also biodegradable. The individual tampons are currently still packed in normal plastic so that they are compliant with the required hygiene standards. The company is looking for alternative solutions to this.
MYLILY implements sustainable packaging for its products and combines kraft paper and bioplastics to create its pad packaging.
For young women, MYLILY has developed the MYLILY First Period Kit to make it easier for them to get to know their periods.