In the UK, each woman spends over £3500 on sanitary products in her lifetime. This equates to 11,000 pads or tampons - roughly 150kg of landfill waste - which will take approximately 500 years to biodegrade.
In 2015, Bristol University graduate Chloe Tingle decided to action and tackle this problem by founding No More Taboo - a social enterprise that sells reusable, eco-friendly sanitary products locally and online.
Eighteen months on and No More Taboo has expanded from an ambitious team of one to a (growing) team of four, having won a number of prestigious accolades and awards in the process.
Founder and engineering graduate Chloe explained what inspired her to take the bold step and start up a new business:
“I volunteered for a charity in Bolivia which raises awareness of the importance of menstrual hygiene in communities with limited access to healthcare information. What struck me most about the young women that I met on my journey was their shock at the environmental damage caused by disposable sanitary products. Out of respect for what they call ‘Pacha Mama’ or mother earth, women in Bolivia were keen to try reusable sanitary products such as washable pads and menstrual cups over the disposable pads and tampons we are more familiar with back home. This got me thinking that women in the UK could learn a lot from their experience and take positive steps to reduce the impact they have on the environment.”
Upon her arrival back in the UK she set up No More Taboo and embarked on a mission to help women make more educated and informed decisions when it comes to purchasing sanitary products.
To raise awareness of the issue Chloe devised a series of marketing campaigns designed to break down the taboo that surrounds reusable sanitary wear by challenging women’s preconceptions and asking them to ‘do their bit once a month’.
No More Taboo sells a variety of sustainable sanitary products at their ‘period parties’ (think a more grown up version of Ann Summers parties) and through their website. But Chloe’s ambitions do not stop simply at introducing women to sustainable alternatives to disposable pads and tampons.
In addition to giving advice on how to use sustainable sanitary products and encouraging women to talk more openly about menstrual health, No More Taboo gives back to communities such as the one that inspired Chloe’s business idea by reinvesting profits into menstrual hygiene education programmes in developing countries.
Reflecting on No More Taboo’s journey from bright idea to a growing business, Chloe said that she was grateful for the support that she received from the Business West Enterprise team:
“Business West have been brilliant. Their Start & Grow programme has opened lots of doors for me and when I was putting together my business plan and figuring out the logistics of hiring interns their advice and support was invaluable.”
At this early stage of her entrepreneurial career Chloe has achieved a number of significant milestones that even she couldn’t have dreamed of, something that she attributes to the help and support offered by Business West:
“Through Business West I’ve made a number of new contacts who have helped me to accelerate my business plan and achieve things that I wouldn’t have otherwise thought about.”
When asked if she would recommend Business West to budding entrepreneurs her answer was:
“Absolutely. In a heartbeat. No matter how ambitious your idea, the team is on hand to guide you with patience every step of the way.”
Whether you’ve got a business idea that you would like to explore further, or you’ve been trading for up to a year, Business West can help you gain the advice, knowledge and funding needed to improve your chances of success. From one-to-one support, to workshops, to helping you apply for a start-up loan, we are here to help. Launch your start-up journey at www.businesswest.co.uk/start.