Words by Smiley Team
After being shocked by the realities of period poverty, the world’s first plastic negative period care brand is giving back across the globe.
Saalt is founded and run by women, and was born when Cherie Hoeger learned from an aunt in Venezuela that pads and tampons had not been available in stores there for years.
Cherie was horrified and imagined her own daughters in that position, potentially missing out on their education without access to sanitary products.
“It's hard to imagine my daughters’ education being limited by something as basic to the human condition as a period," Cherie tells Smiley News.
“So many girls are halted early in their educational pursuits because they lack access to hygienic, long-term period care. The loss of potential is heartbreaking, and yet the solution is simple.”
But Cherie was also concerned by the disposable nature of period products, and the impact on the environment at a time when climate change is the largest global threat.
Tampons can take between 500-1,000 years to decompose, and it's estimated that 1.5-2 billion are flushed every year in Britain alone.
In 2018 the Saalt Cup was launched: a resuasable, and latex and toxin-free alternative to using tampons or pads.
Saalt estimates that their cups divert 3,000 tampons or pads from landfills and our oceans, and in their first year of operation the brand removed more than 8,000lbs of plastic waste from the ocean.
As well as sustainability, Saalt’s main social missions include education and empowerment, and assisting global menstrual health. More than 2.3 billion people across the world lack basic sanitation services, such as clean water and soap in bathrooms.
Lack of access to period products is a global issue, with around 50% of school-girls in Kenya going without, and 1 in 10 in the UK.
With the help of sales from both Saalt Cups and the brand’s leakproof underwear, the company was able to start making donations all across the world.
Saalt gives 2% of all profits and to-date has donated 34,339 reusable Saalt Cups to places where period poverty is most critical.
The donations have gone to Venezuela, along with 34 other countries including England, Nigeria, Costa Rica, and Nepal, and Cherie has no plans to slow down any time soon.
“We are providing long-term, sustainable solutions that keep girls in school and allow women to provide for their families with dignity," says Cherie.
“But we haven't stopped there. We also help fund educational scholarships for girls and employment opportunities for women to compound our efforts to change the world by empowering individuals.
"My hope for the future of Saalt is to continue to drive our mission until we've changed the lives of 100 million people around the world for the better.”
SUPPORT ITS MISSION: When you choose Saalt, you're providing life-changing and planet-saving period care to those who need it most. Read more.
DONATE: If you want to support a charity hoping to reduce period poverty around the world, donate to Period Poverty UK.