Company release 'The Tampon Book' so women can pay 12% less tax for tampons
Despite being a necessary element of many women's health, menstruation supplies can set people back by a hefty amount once the year's spendings are added up. When certain governments have higher taxes on products such as tampons, it can get even worse.
This is why many are protesting in Germany, a country which holds a 19% tax on tampons - treating them as "luxury goods". In response to this, one startup found a way to both make a point and allow women to get cheaper tampons.
The Female Company, which sells organic sanitary products, made use of the fact that books are taxed at just 7% in the country, publishing a book with 15 tampons inside. The first print of The Tampon Book sold out in just one day, the second print sold out in a week, with around 10,000 copies sold to this day.
Co-founder Ann-Sophie Claus said she conceived the idea for the unique book after struggling to overturn the tampon tax. Claus spent over a year campaigning, collection over 175,000 signatures for a petition, to no avail.
"We realised that nothing will really change," she told The Guardian. "The German finance minister, Olaf Scholz, replied saying that he does not want to reduce the tax because he cannot ensure that companies will pass on the tax reduction to consumers anyway."
The book also contains stories about menstruation that date back to biblical times as well as more modern ones. Alongside them are illustrations from Ana Curbelo and Alica Läuger.
"My characters are not only proud, confident women, unashamed of periods, but they are also posed in our relaxed natural state," Curbelo explained. "I want people to laugh at the characters’ uninhibited attitude and see themselves in the illustrations."
Claus also spoke to The Guardian about the reasoning behind the fact tampons are being treated as 'luxury products', and the stigma that surrounds the subject. She explained:
“The history of menstruation has been full of rumours and suppression. This is why the period became a taboo in the first place. But it seems like during the last years we, as women, are standing up against such myths.
"The tampon tax was decided in 1963: 499 men and only 36 women voted. It’s time that we question such decisions from a new perspective of modern, independent women."
Currently, you can buy The Tampon book for just €3.11 ($3.54). The English-language edition is the only available version at the moment that hasn't sold out, as you can find here.