While still in high school, friends Eloise Hall and Isobel Marshall saw the opportunity to tackle the worldwide problem of period poverty. With Australian women spending almost $400 million on sanitary products each year2, they saw the potential power of this market and launched TABOO, their own brand of organic and sustainable cotton pads and tampons. As a social enterprise, TABOO directs all profits to sanitary health projects in developing countries and local outreach programs.
“There are girls who aren't able to attend school because they don't have access to sanitary products. We want to bridge this gap, and get a positive outcome from all the money we're putting into this market every month out of necessity. We can drive it into the right cause,” Eloise says.
TABOO runs on a subscription model, which is important for two reasons. It ensures customers receive their product regularly, just like their period – and it also gives the TABOO team greater cash flow certainty.
In August 2019, TABOO shipped its first 150 pre-orders and were sending out approximately 20 to 30 orders per week using MyPost Business. And then Isobel was awarded Young Australian of the Year 2021.
“When Isobel won, we received 200 orders that weekend alone. And since then, have been doing at least 30 or 40 deliveries a week,” notes Eloise.
Now, her goal is to keep building on that momentum to grow the brand’s profile, get products in more supermarkets and promote their local outreach programs.
Saving more means giving back more
Eloise and Isobel have always operated TABOO on a shoestring budget. They first turned to crowdfunding to raise enough money to finance the first drop of products, and raised $56,000 in two months. Making the most of every cent meant carefully considering how they would sell, pack and distribute the products in the most cost-effective and sustainable way.
“We've run our business on little to no budget for four years,” says Eloise. Winning a local start-up competition gave them access to a web developer, who helped them launch an eCommerce site that would enable subscriptions.
To deliver those monthly subscriptions, Eloise knew postage costs could be a significant burden on the small social enterprise. And she also knew reliability was vital, given the essential nature of the products.
As a Band 5 MyPost Business customer, TABOO now saves up to 40% on postage costs within Adelaide metro.1 “It’s really beautiful to watch orders increase while postage rates decrease, especially as we’re now delivering Australia-wide,” says Eloise.