Public Health and Consumerism

When you see the words Public Health and Consumerism together, you may think: Oh yeah! If I limit my consumerism, I will limit waste and that is better for the environment. Therefore, making consumerism changes supports public health. That is definitely one way those two ideas can interact. Another, is for brands to make programs or to partner with non-profits to implement change and support.

For example, THINX, a brand that sells reusable period underwear, started their give back program by donating period underwear and ensuring that every student in the U.S. has access to free period products. This program started by THINX is a youth non-profit called United for Access. I recently went to a sustainability panel that the THINX Chief Operating Officer, Shama Amalean, spoke at. She discussed how THINX first started their give back program by providing free period products to students, then the company conducted public health research. They realized that a large issue besides access to period products, was a lack of comfortable dialogue and education around periods. After these findings, THINX started a 12 week period education program for all genders, in addition to their United for Access efforts, called their EveryBody program.

There are many other companies that also give back:

I think that more brands could be doing Give Back programs, and public health research should be done to check and see how effective the program is, with improvements constantly being made. Companies have power and they should use that power to implement great change and support, rather than just caring about revenue.