Floco aims to drive change in the period products market - Alison Wood

In my final year at Edinburgh University, I worked alongside a charity in Homa Bay, Kenya researching different methods of delivering sexual health education to young people.

Alisn Wood is co-founder of Floco, which produces reusable, sustainable period products
Alisn Wood is co-founder of Floco, which produces reusable, sustainable period products

During this research I discovered that many young students were unable to afford period products. In order to get access and remain in school they were forced to engage in transactional sex in exchange for products. These girls were risking so much for something so simple. Upon returning to Edinburgh, I worked with my now co-founder of Floco, Mhairi to form a small team and began researching how best to get products to those who needed them.

More than three years down the line, Floco now uses compassionate innovation and education to help everyone have the best period possible. Sadly, period inequality and stigma still exists across the globe and even at home. To combat this, we are working collaboratively with communities around the world setting up projects to empower local communities while increasing access to period products.

We are on a mission to make sure everyone can have the best period they can. For too long period products have not been given the innovation and attention they deserve. We want to give everyone who flows, an option to a period product that works for them.

We are big believers in sustainable journey and wanted our reusable pads to benefit the person and the planet simultaneously. We ensured they contain no harsh or harmful chemicals which are bad for you or the environment. This contrasts greatly to the typical period pad, which consists of 90 per cent petroleum-based plastic – non-degradable and non-reusable. By simply making the switch from disposable alternatives, an individual can drastically reduce their carbon footprint. Floco pads have a minimum lifespan of two years and a maximum of eight years, resulting in little waste and little consumer expenditure. Our affordable prices coupled with the durability of our products means women are not financially burdened with the incessant cycle of constantly buying, and ultimately throwing away, single use products.

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In order to advance within the sustainable period market, for every pack sold, we donate ten per cent of our revenue to our work around the world, which fosters an increasing access to period products and inclusive period education. When you purchase a Floco pack, we will send another pack to our international initiative, providing someone with the resources and supplies they need. We don’t operate on a traditional model so any surplus made goes directly towards our social mission.

As part of the Floco mission, we’re about inclusivity and engaging education. We began conducting research across Scottish high schools, learning more about attitudes to periods, period poverty and period products. During this research we discovered that many young people still find topics such as puberty and periods embarrassing and many had never received in-depth education at all. We have created an education scheme focused on using compassion and fun to increase discussions around periods, puberty and sexual harassment. These lessons and workshops are delivered to all genders using interactive activities with the aim of building empathy amongst young people and giving them the tools to begin to question and pick apart inequalities and stereotypes. The lessons aim to use play and performance to combat the stigma, stereotypes and misconceptions that surround these topics.

To find out more about our mission visit www.Floco wear.com.

Alison Wood, co-founder of Floco

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