How we got started...
ilo started when I gave birth to my daughter, Molly back in 2018. Firstly I was convinced I was having a boy so hey presto, when Molly popped out it was a shock and the reality of having a girl and the responsibility of raising a girl in todays world really shook me.
Growing up, I was lucky to be the last generation who hasn't had the internet around from the start and to be honest, I see girls much younger than I constantly worried about how they look, sound, feel etc and constantly body shamed. It really scared me especially when it came the most basic things such as menstrual health.
I realised over the first few months or raising Molly that I couldn't wait for others to start the change or initiate it and what was I waiting for - I mean why not me? If I could help girls and boys around the world understand their menstrual cycle and how it works and that it's 100% normal and we shouldn't be ashamed or made to feel crap for having one, or not, then that would be pretty amazing. In the time I spent setting up ilo the research I did showed that only 1 in 15 women were told about their period by their mum, the rest found out through friends, teachers or nurses and this caused major psychological damage - some women thought they were dying or were terminally ill and have never gotten out of that fear. Some women were so shocked and ashamed by getting it that they still feel ashamed of having it every single month. And some women felt disgust because they've simply never been properly taught about their menstrual cycle. To me, none of these are ok. At all.
I don't want Molly, or any other kid, to grow up in a world where this happens. Where women are ashamed for their whole period live - roughly 40years FYI. Where every month they're disgusted by their own bodies. It makes me so utterly sad.
The other thing that freaked me out is that mainstream sanitary products are completely unregulated and there are no rules or regulations as to what the companies have to divulge when it comes to processes or ingredients. Recent research has been linked to cancer, endometriosis and fertility issues. Why are we still having to use products day after day, month after month, year after year that are full of chemicals, stray polyester fibres that have known carcinogens in? I'm shocked that only 5% of women we spoke to knew how toxic sanitary products are. Seriously, we worry about what we eat, what we put on our skin etc but we're not worried about what we put in or near the most absorbent body part, our vagina.
When we think about our periods - most of us, kinda assume that everyone just uses sanitary products but the reality it that 1 in 10 women around the world cannot afford sanitary products on a monthly basis. What do they use instead? Well quite frankly, they either don't use anything and miss school or their work, or they use really unhygienic and unsanitary things like old clothes, newspaper or leaves in socks. When I started researching this aspect of periods and menstrual lives, this in particular broke my heart. The fact that on average a girl who can't afford sanitary products will miss about 145 days of school which puts her behind her counterparts and will have a massive impact on later life is really upsetting. That regularly women lose their jobs because they don't have the funds to buy period products is really scary. This is why ilo donates a percentage of profits to fighting period poverty.
All of these things: lack of education, sanitary products full of chemicals and period poverty are the 3 reasons I started ilo.
And so change is happening now, ilo is changing the way girls and boys, women and men look at menstrual cycles and offering 100% chemical free and organic cotton sanitary products which don't contain ANY nasties at all.
So, I created ilo and I really really hope you can get behind us, me, the company.
Please, if you use sanitary products on a regular basis buy your subscription from me and ilo.