The Flow World launched in 2017 with the mission to improve access to menstrual products for everyone.
We Advocate for Reusable Products
Reusable period products still make up a pretty small segment of the menstrual product market, despite the many benefits espoused by their users. We hope to advocate for menstrual equity by raising awareness about better, more affordable products and, in the process, de-stigmatize menstruation and empower menstruators to feel proud of and connected to their bodies.
Reusable cups and pads may not be a perfect fit for everyone. Our goal is to provide resources and education so people can know their options and figure out what is best for their body and needs. If you are affiliated with an educational, health, or service-oriented organization and are interested in learning more about reusable products, please reach out to us. We love to collaborate – whether through workshops, in-kind donations, or meaningful conversation.
We Fight for Menstruation Equity
The fight for menstrual equity begins in our community. The costs of period products disproportionately impact those with lower incomes, and for many who struggle to secure a stable living environment, the ongoing menstruation cycles can amplify their stress. The number of homeless youth in Los Angeles County jumped 61% from 2016 to 2017. In Hollywood, CA, where we are based, there are many social organizations doing an incredible job of offering services and resources to those in need. Over the past year, we’ve been able to engage in dialogues and donate products to organizations like Covenant House, My Friend’s Place, and the Los Angeles LGBT Center. Our product donations have been made possible thanks to our partner organization, Period.Org.
We are proud to work locally to effect change, but large-scale efforts like introducing legislation can reach bigger populations. Last year, members of The Flow World contributed to the successful passing of California Assembly Bill No. 10, which allocates funds to provide free pads and tampons in qualified low-income schools. Every year in the United States, one in five low-income women misses school or work because she didn’t have adequate supplies for her period. By campaigning on social media and adding pressure on our Governor, we were able to make a difference and help alleviate these challenges. Down the line, we hope that reusable menstrual products will be freely offered as well – and not just in select schools.
In the last few years, the movement to remove the sales tax from menstrual products, often abbreviated as the “tampon tax,” has taken off around the world. Fifteen states in the U.S. now exempt menstrual products from sales tax, and thirteen countries have enacted similar legislation or budget amendments. Here in California, the fight to end the tampon tax has been underway for several years. In 2016, the state legislature voted unanimously to pass a tax exemption on menstrual products, but it didn’t make it past Governor Brown.
In December, 2018, a new bill was introduced to remove the tampon tax in California – just as some fresh faces took office. Asm. Cristina Garcia introduced the bill, AB31, and it will move forward in 2019 when the California legislature convenes on January 7.
Now is the time to act! Ensuring that this bill passes requires that we organize in our communities and place pressure on our government leadership. We invite our fellow Californians to stay on top of the action and participate in the movement by joining our mailing list.