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TABOO Sanitary Products - Empowering Women in Need

Isobel Marshall and Eloise Hall, School Captain and Vice Captain 2016

TABOO’s journey began in January 2016 as we, Eloise and Izzy walked up the stairs of Manley beach, Sydney. We had recently taken part in a leadership conference held at Bond University, and had been inspired by various professionals and their work, particularly that of Daniel Flynn. Daniel is the co-founder of Thank You, a social enterprise designed to sell bottles of water in developed countries, to make profit that is donated to water projects in developing parts of the world. On our walk home, we began brainstorming other products that are in high demand in Australia, so that these products could also be sold to generate profit for a related cause. Eventually we came to pads and tampons. 50% of the population require these products and each individual women spends $19,000 on these products throughout their lifetime. What an awesome market! We then started researching into the flip side. What do women in developing countries use when they are menstruating? To say the least, we were shocked with the answer. We learnt that an astounding number of women had never even heard of a pad, let alone used them. Women are forced to use kitchen sponges, tree bark or even cow dung during their period.

Many girls must leave school for a week every month which leads to approximately 30% of girls in developing parts of the world dropping out of school as soon they hit puberty. According to , “73 percent of interviewed Bangladeshi garment workers reported they miss work for an average of six days per month (resulting in unpaid work days) due to vaginal infections caused by unsanitary menstrual materials”. There are many more shocking statistics around this topic so if this subject impacts you, please further inform yourself about this tragic reality.

We had to put our curiosity on hold for a year, as we focused our energy on year 12 studies. Almost the day after finishing our exams though, we were back to brainstorming ways that would change those scary statistics that had been on our mind all year. At this pivotal point, TABOO entered our lives. We developed a social enterprise model that would allow us to sell a range of sanitary products on this website to generate profit that would then be dedicated to providing sanitary products and menstrual health education in developing countries.

At the beginning of 2017, we were fortunately introduced to a not-for-profit event called Startup Weekend. We met a brilliant team of professionals and were provided with the resources to evolve our dream into something real. The support, encouragement and prizes we received from that weekend gave us a determination to pursue our idea further, and so we decided to defer our uni courses for a year to commit our time fully to TABOO. A lot of hard work, passion and a heap of support from awesome people around us has led us to where we are today. At the end of the day, through your subscriptions and support, YOU are the ones to help these women be educated about menstrual health and have access to the appropriate sanitary products.

Isobel Marshall and Eloise Hall 

TABOO Sanitary Products - Empowering Women in Need

3 March 2017  |  2 Comments  |  Tags:


This is a wonderful and inspiring story.  Congratulations to Eloise and Isobel for using their talents and skills to create something that has the potential to be genuinely life-changing for so many people.  I am just so impressed with this and I hope the Walford community gets behind them.  Please invite them to come and talk to the girls about their entrepreneurial journey which demonstrates a perfect balance of using their initiative, compassion and intelligence. We need more of this sort of collaborative activity in the world! I wish them every success in this fabulous venture.

By Rachel Spencer on March 4th 2017 | 3:29PM

A very worthy cause, Eloise and Isobel.

In 2015, the 7 students at Walford started an annual fundraising campaign to raise money for an international organisation, Days for Girls, and a South Australian group, Essentials4WomenSA.

The girls do not just raise money each year, they also pack bags of sanitary products for both organisations.

By Barbara Morrison on March 5th 2017 | 12:30PM

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