We cheer for free tampons
1 in 10 college students can’t afford period products.
Help us stock every school with free products while breaking the period stigma!
One lucky nominated organization will win a FREE Aunt Flow period product dispenser including a case of tampons and pads! As a bonus, the individual who nominates the winning organization will score some Aunt Flow swag. 😉
Nominate your school or business
Advocate with Aunt Flow! We're on a mission to collect 1,000 nominations for businesses and schools that should stock FREE organic cotton period products in their bathrooms.
Our progress to get 1,000 nominations by December 1st, 2023
Email your campus asking for free period products
Picture this: Your period unexpectedly came early, and you have to rummage for coins to buy a tampon from the out-of-date bathroom machines. Well, that’s exactly what happened to then-college student, Aunt Flow CEO Claire Coder before she decided to take matters into her own hands.
Since 1 in 10 college students can’t afford period products, we made it Aunt Flow’s mission to work with schools to make period products freely available across campus. If toilet paper is offered for free, why not tampons or pads?
Confessions of a Menstruator
I started my period for the first time when I was 10 years old. I was in Tai-Kwon-Do training, and was in my white Dojo uniform… YIKES! Luckily, I was at home after training, and though my uniform was absolutely ruined, I didn’t have to experience the stigma of a menstrual blood stain in public. I’m sure that would have made the whole process 10x more traumatic! My mother was absolutely my rock, and was able to comfort me and walk me through what was happening. Mom, if you’re reading this… thank you!
Bowling Green, OH
I was a junior in college and started my period unexpectedly while I was in class. All I had on me was a pad, and when I opened the packaging up in the restroom it made this incredibly loud RIIIIIIIIIP noise. From three stalls down, I heard a little girl demand, “Mommy, why does she have a snack?” I’m still not sure who laughed louder, her mom or me. It was absolutely the tension breaker I needed at the moment.
A few years ago, I was enjoying a day out with one of my close friends, who happened to be a cis man. After a nice lunch, we decided to head back to my house. When I walked into my bedroom, I realized I had just washed and dried the linens for my bed, and when in a rush that day, had forgotten to actually put them on the bed. I apologized for the pile of sheets and blankets and told my friend he could instead sit on a chair I had in my room. As I went to move the linens, I realized my trusty white mattress was visible, boasting glorious period stains and all. “Don’t worry, it’s just old blood that stained”, I assured him. As if in a scene from a horror movie, my friend stood frozen in the doorway. “Blood?” he asked, shockingly. I thought he was going to pass out. “You know, from having my period,” I laughed.
I was late to the puberty game and didn’t have much of an education when it came to actually managing periods. I had started my period the day before a big pool party with my friends. My parents never told me about tampons, but I knew they existed and if I wanted to swim, I needed to use a tampon. I held off as long as possible from swimming, but when everyone else was in the pool, I went inside my friends house and snooped through every bathroom to find a box of tampons.
I was dating a new guy at the time and he came to visit me at college. Our rental home was notorious of having random power outages. He was meant to arrive any minutes and our power went out. I ran to the bathroom before he arrived and when I sat down, I had gotten a text he was there. I rushed to clean up and wash my hands, then ran to open the door. I happened to be on my period at the time so being in the dark, I could only hope I cleaned myself up well enough. (No windows in the bathroom) He had driven two hours to visit so he had to use the bathroom immediately. After he was done, he came out and said, "uh, there was blood on the seat." I was paralyzed with embarrassment. And he said, " No big deal, I cleaned it up." That was 2012. We're now married with two wonderful kiddos.
I went to a Jewish overnight camp for 8 years straight and one summer I said to myself “this summer I WILL learn how to use a tampon.” I so desperately wanted to put an end to pads, and be comfortable enough to swim during the summer using a product I know wouldn’t float out into the lake. My mom tried helping me before I went off to camp, but still I was not successful. One day before lake time, I asked a friend who we all designated the group “mom” because she taught half of my bunkmates how to use a tampon at camp. She showed me how to do it and then I tried it on my own. I came out of the bathroom stall and cried out to the bunk “guys, I learned how to use a tampon!” They all clapped and congratulated me because this was my third summer trying.
As a lifelong Aunt Flow supporter, I can't count the number of times I've heard someone say something along the lines of "don't you know when your period is going to start?" or "why aren't you just prepared for that?" Well, this year, I decided to stop using birth control after the better part of 20 years (seriously, why is there no birth control pill for men? Can we talk about that?). As my body is adjusting, my periods are inconsistent as all hell. I don't know when they're coming, I don't know how heavy they'll be, it's all just a guessing game. I'm grateful my office has supplied Aunt Flow products because who freaking knows what the day will bring.
San Fransisco, CA
Oh my gosh, I have so many! The guy I recently started dating invited me over for dinner and I started my period...AT HIS HOUSE, completely unprepared. I looked through his bathroom cabinets hoping an ex-girlfriend would have left a tampon there haha (desperate times, desperate measures!), but nope. Toilet-paper filled pants was my secret that night.
At 12 years old, I had my first period at my best friends house. It was messy and scary, yet I felt very lucky to have my friends help because she had already had hers. Today, as I enter perimenopause, I am experiencing a new level of messy and scary. Relearning, accepting, and ultimately loving my journey with my period. Emotionally, it has taken me a while to get here, but to begin to understand my body and embrace her with all her flaws and strengths, I am loving where I am going. Messy, scary, and everything in between.
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Hi! I’m Claire. I founded Aunt Flow after getting my period in public without the supplies needed.
Founded in 2016, Aunt Flow is a certified WBENC women-owned company based in Columbus, Ohio. At 18 years old, I dedicated my life to developing a solution to ensure businesses and schools could sustainably provide quality period products, for free, in bathrooms. Our products are made with organic cotton (no weird stuff) and we are constantly working to reduce our environmental impact! For every 10 tampons and pads we sell, we donate 1 to a menstruator in need. I call this people helping people. PERIOD.®
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Frequently Asked Questions
Aunt Flow's mission is to fight period poverty and stigma. Alongside ensuring that businesses and schools offer free period products for employees and students, our donation program supports activist-led pilot program initiatives and various grassroots nonprofit organizations.
Aunt Flow believes in a multifaceted approach to achieving menstrual justice, including service, education, research, advocacy, and investment.
- Organize menstrual product drives and fundraisers in your community to collect and donate pads and tampons to local shelters and food pantries.
- Lead educational workshops in your community about menstruation, sustainable menstrual products, and destigmatizing menstruation.
- Apply pressure to policymakers, decision-makers, and local leaders, advocating for policies that improve access to menstrual products and education.
- Ask your school to include menstruation and menstrual health as part of the educational curriculum. In fact, 77% of students believe there needs to be more in-depth education about menstrual health.
- Conduct and support more peer-reviewed research assessing the prevalence and health implications of period poverty. This data is important for supporting more grassroots advocacy efforts.
- Urge schools and businesses to invest in high-quality menstrual products free of cost for everyone.
Period poverty is the lack of access to period products and education. We believe fighting period poverty is one of the most tangible steps we can take toward gender equality.
Setting up a refill plan is a smart idea! We can do a delivery cadence from every one to six months. Each product can be shipped at different frequencies, so if you go through tampons faster than pads, for example, you can set your subscription to ship tampons more frequently. You can log into your account and make adjustments or cancel your subscription at any time. It's SUPER customizable! Just be sure to “upgrade to a subscription” before you check out.
For more detailed instructions, please see below.
Click 'Visit our store' or go to https://shop.goauntflow.com and add desired product refill quantities to cart.
Add period products to your cart and update to a subscription with the ability to customize refill subscription frequency. Proceed to checkout and fill out your contact, shipping, and billing information. You will receive a subscription confirmation email with information on how to manage your subscription moving forward!
Please note, in order to set up a subscription you must add a credit card to your account. For support on setting up a subscription please reach out to email@example.com.
We recommend estimating product quantities based on supplemental, as-needed period product usage at approximately 15 pieces per menstruating student per school year. You can use our pricing calculator or meet with an Aunt Flow Happiness Developer to get a custom quote that includes our reduced educational pricing for a quick budget estimate.
For every 10 tampons and pads we sell, we donate 1 to a menstruator in need. I call this people helping people. PERIOD.® Learn more about our Donation Program!
If your school offers toilet paper for free, then advocate to your campus admin to prioritize budgeting for freely accessible period products too. When dispensers are first installed in bathrooms, there could be higher than normal usage, which then levels out over time once students learn that period products are not just a one-time luxury item but will be available ongoing.