Tampons no 'Taboo' for gap year project empowering women

21 Jul 2020

Posted January 25, 2018

Many young people take a “gap year” after finishing high school but most don’t use the time to plan a global social enterprise to empower women in the developing world. Eloise Hall, 18, and Isobel Marshall, 19, are the exception.

Photograph: Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie, left, with the founders of the global social enterprise TABOO - Isobel Marshall and Eloise Hall. The women are members of the Aldgate Baptist Church which held a fundraiser last week.

he pair is poised to launch TABOO, an enterprise selling pads and tampons made from organic cotton with 100 per cent of the profits going to charities providing sanitary products and health education to women in developing countries.

They now have a week to raise $3,500 to reach their $48,000 crowd funding target to pay for their first shipment of TABOO-branded products.

Last week the women held a Pink Drinks fundraiser through their church, the Aldgate Baptist Church, to help them reach their target.

“We called our brand TABOO because one of the major reasons girls in the developing world stop going to school is because of the cultural taboos surrounding menstruation and because they don’t have access to menstrual health products,” said Eloise.

“And we know that education is a key factor in breaking the cycle of poverty so we wanted to get to the root cause of girls leaving school.

“Through our partner organisations, $16 will supply one woman with pads for an entire year.”

In the Western World women will spend up to $19,000 over their lifetime on pads and tampons.

Eloise and Isobel are hoping that Australian women will make some of their purchases from TABOO when the line is officially launched in a few months’ time.

More information about TABOO is available here


  • Eloise Hall, 18, and Isobel Marshall, 19, were inspired to develop TABOO after the founder of the social enterprise Thankyou spoke at their school, Walford Anglican School for Girls, in 2016 while they were studying Year 12.
  • In 2016 the students were awarded $1200 towards developing their global social enterprise as part of the Unley Council’s inaugural Fish Tank competition for aspiring entrepreneurs.
  • In February 2017 TABOO was the winning pitch at the not-for-profit event Startup Weekend. The prize included office space and professional support so Eloise and Isobel took a gap year to commit their time to develop TABOO.
  • Unable to find an Australian manufacturer to create the organic cotton products they wanted, they eventually found a manufacturer in Barcelona.
  • With the backing of a major sponsor, they need $48,000 to buy their first order of pads and tampons.
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