01/17/19 | share:
By Brianna Flaherty
2018 was a big year at THINX Inc., and we owe all of our successes to your ongoing support and affinity for our undies. Our li’l family of brands—Icon, THINX, and THINX (BTWN)—is committed to building a better future for every body. To that end, it was our first year with three (3!) giveback initiatives—education, advocacy, and access—and we were lucky to be able to show our appreciation by supporting communities throughout the country and around the world.
Education for *EveryBody*
Our EveryBody educational program is designed to teach young people the basics of body literacy, reproductive health (think sex ed, but *actually* fun, educational, and medically accurate), and the foundations of identity and human rights. The curriculum gives students the space and tools to empower themselves and others in their community, throughout their lifetime. This year, 443 New York City students across our six partner sites completed our 12-week curriculum, including 12-year-old Cheyenne, who learned that “human rights means that despite your skin color, sexuality, ethnicity, and gender, people should be treated the same.”
Advocacy through United for Access
In the spirit of empowering younger generations, we also partnered with the world’s largest youth-run non-profit, PERIOD (cofounded by 20-year-old Nadya Okamoto) to demand access to free period products for all students in the United States. From Corpus Christi to Cameroon, our United for Access petition made significant changes in schools across the country, gathering more than 10,022 signatures and shifting five local policies since October (and growing!).
PERIOD member Hassan Iqbal led the charge at UT Austin, explaining that “period products should be given the same treatment as toilet paper, and the fact that there isn't equitable access due to a societal taboo surrounding the issue is wrong.” Alongside fellow students, Hassan successfully lobbied their school to provide free period products in all school restrooms, celebrating our first United for Access policy win!
Access for communities in need
While educating and campaigning for change across school campuses, we also focused our efforts on three partnerships that enabled us to make a global impact. Our ongoing work with Fistula Foundation reached new heights this year, as we funded 170 life-changing surgeries. These simple operations to treat obstetric fistula freed women in low-income countries from the shame, pain, and limitations created by this totally treatable medical condition.
We also partnered with Girls Inc. to bolster their mission of empowering young girls to be strong, smart, and bold through mentorship, and health and sex education. Thanks to your support and proceeds from our Giving Tuesday limited edition grl pwr undies, we funded a full year of the Girls Inc. experience (think innovative programming, thoughtful mentoring, and safe spaces for meeting!) for 40 girls.
Last but definitely not least, we supported the important initiatives of Safe Horizon by raising funds for a $51,000 donation to pay it forward to mamas and their families on Mother’s Day weekend! Your support of this donation, and of our partnerships with Fistula Foundation and Girls Inc., helped fund housing, childcare, education, and medical and mental health services for families in need.
How you can keep the momentum going
You've already enabled us to touch the lives of people around the globe. To keep paying it forward, here are four simple ways to support your immediate community:
- Start conversations among friends, family, and (friendly) strangers. Simply talking to people about issues like the importance of instilling young people with basic body literacy, the fundamentals of human rights, and access to period products, helps to connect your community and empower *every body* in it.
- Donate. Charitable giving to local organizations and nonprofits can have an immediate impact on community members in need in your hometown. Plus, your donation might inspire someone else to do the same.
- Host a product drive. It’s simple as sending an email and setting up a donation box (or two or three) at your home, school, or office. Gathering products — including winter coats, period products, or non-perishable food — is a concrete act of support for people in need in your community.
- Sign our United for Access petition if you haven’t already! You’ll be joining thousands of advocates for menstrual equity.
From the entire THINX Inc. team: Thank you for your ongoing support. You’ve given us the gift of empowering folks around the world to learn about, love, and care for their bodies. We couldn’t do it without you!
Read our full giveback report (complete with some fun *~infographics~*) to learn more about our work this year.