Start a Tampon Club
Starting a Tampon Club is as easy as putting some tampons in a toilet and inviting folk to use them if they need them. Here are a few other things to think about.
If your office is big and has many lavatories, start with just the ones you use. That way you’ll be able to keep an eye on it as part of your daily habits. Begin by putting a few tampons in a plastic box with a little note about why they’re there, and go from there.
Think about what to buy
It’s unlikely that everyone in your office will use the same products. Some people use applicator tampons, some use non-applicator, some only use sanitary towels. If you like, you could just buy the things you use and invite other people to contribute the things they use. Or you could buy products covering all bases. This is your choice.
Make it look proper
There is small chance that, when you set up your Tampon Club, someone is going to come in and clear it away. Maybe a cleaner, maybe someone who thinks you left your tampons out by mistake, maybe someone who thinks they shouldn’t be there. Minimise this risk by making them look like they are supposed to be there. Buy a plastic container to put them in (this one is good, or if there are no flat surfaces in your toilets you could try this one…). Add a little notice about why they’re there. You could do this anonymously or add your name so people can ask questions.
Let people know it’s a community project
You probably don’t want to become the Magic Tampon Fairy, forced to buy tampons for the rest of the office forever. You’ll want to encourage women who find themselves in need of a tampon to take one, and at some point in the future replace it with more.
To help communicate this put a little notice in or near the box. Something like:
Hello! These tampons and sanitary towels are provided for everyone by other users of this toilet. If you’d like to contribute your own or replace what you’ve used you’re welcomed to do so. Find out more: http://tampon.club.
Don’t forget the accessible toilets
If you’re not a regular user of the accessible toilets in your office, don’t forget to include them in your Tampon Club. Aside from the obvious, that people with disabilities need tampons too, accessible toilets may also be used by trans men who don’t feel comfortable using the men’s toilets.
We’ve found that the design of accessible toilets can leave no flat ledges to put a tampon container on. To get around this, you can use a container that attaches to a glass surface (e.g. a mirror) such as this one.
Tampon Club is not going to be for everyone
Some people are a lot better organised than us; they don’t get caught out and they don’t need tampons in the toilets. Some people don’t have periods. For some women periods are deeply personal and not something they want to discuss with colleagues. In short, everyone is different, so be prepared to listen to feedback from other users of the toilets and adapt your Tampon Club accordingly.