Reframing the cycle stigma

Eloise Hall sitting in chair

Spurred on by her passion for equal access to opportunity for all, a spark of an idea in high school has grown into a national initiative, seeking to end period poverty by 2030, for young entrepreneur Eloise Hall (BIntRel/BBus ’23).

Introduced to the concept of social enterprise at a leadership conference in Year 11, Eloise and co-founder Isobel Marshall had a lightbulb moment when comprehending the ability of trading profit for positive impact. After a successful crowdfunding campaign to get their vision off the ground, the pair soon launched the early stages of what would become TABOO Period Products.

“We started to think about things we purchase all the time, then we started to unpack what your life would look like if you couldn’t afford period products, which led us to learn more about the prevalence and consequences of period poverty – the experience where someone can’t access affordable or dignified period care,” says Eloise.

“The consequences include girls missing out on school and incidences of preventable menstrual health complications. The stigma of menstruation is one of the many catalysts to this reality.

“As young women who never had to think about whether or not we could access period products, it was just such an obvious opportunity for us to commit our time to this injustice.”

Step by step, the pair found mentors and embraced the next phase of learning, raising $56,000 in crowd funding, which was enough to purchase the first batch of high-quality period products. That was in 2019 and TABOO has been growing ever since.

“Flinders supported me to define my own career whilst studying, and working as a waitress, as I started my journey as a social entrepreneur straight after finishing high school,” says Eloise.

“There was enough flexibility across the two degrees that allowed me to really prioritise setting up the social enterprise TABOO.”

TABOO pads and tampons are now sold in OTR stores, National Pharmacies, Foodland, Drakes and online, which has proven to be a tremendously popular sales platform. The business is also pushing an exciting new opportunity for employees and students to anonymously nominate their workplace or Uni to have TABOO period products stocked and available in bathrooms.

“My rule of thumb is that wherever there is toilet paper, there should be period products,” says Eloise.

“It’s an effort to reframe the responsibility of the purchasing of these products, which will help bridge the current systemic gap with access to period care.

Although fresh on the scene, Eloise has already been named 2023 Entrepreneur of the Year in the Impact category by EY and a Westpac 2023 Social Change Fellow. She was recognised as the youngest of InDaily’s 40 under 40 recipients in 2020, The Advertiser’s Woman of the Year Rising Star Award in 2021 and a 2019 Women in Innovation finalist.

“My biggest inspiration is often the people that we are looking to support,” says Eloise.

“Hopefully I won’t be committing my life to this cause, ending period poverty by 2030 is the goal!

“I believe we can create lasting, positive impact through sustainable social businesses. My broader goal is to see the social enterprise sector grow, further allowing consumers to create change through their everyday purchasing, and ultimately see our systems become more equitable and fairer.”

Eloise Hall was awarded a 2023 Early Career Alumni Award for her significant entrepreneurship with the social enterprise, TABOO in addressing period poverty in Australia, ensuring everyone has equal access to safe and dignified period care.

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