We’ve all heard the saying “the world doesn’t revolve around you”. But when it comes to this ground-breaking new brand of condoms, the world literally could revolve a little better thanks to the choices you make in the bedroom.
The brand is L, as in the first letter in “love”. First up lets talk specs, because we all know details are important when it comes to sex. Unlike other brands on the market, L is not just a safe-sex product, it is a health company. Their condoms are designed by women with thoughtful sourcing of the highest-quality, sustainably-tapped and non-toxic materials. They are paraben and glycerin free, and great for sensitive skin.
But it doesn’t end there. You see, L are going to great lengths to stand apart from all other brands which are all about male dominance and “conquering” in the bedroom. Aside from the materials it is made from, they had adopted the innovative “one for one” method made famous by Toms shoes, where one purchase of an item means one item of the same value is donated to a developing country.
L does the same. When you choose to buy one of their products, you are also helping a person in the developing world get their hands on a much-needed item.
Around the world, women and girls are increasingly becoming the face of the AIDS epidemic. According to AMFAR more than half of the world’s population living with HIV are women. For women of reproductive age (15-49) HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death. In sub-Saharan Africa, women constitute 58% of all people living with HIV. They also state women are at least twice more likely to acquire HIV from men during sexual intercourse than vice versa.
Over 5000 new HIV transmissions take place every day, and over 4000 people die of AIDS every day. Nine out of ten countries in Africa have no access to condoms for up to 3 months at a time. Right now there are 11 million AIDS orphans in Sub-Saharan Africa. These are horrible statistics, but unlike other disasters that are inflicted upon people, AIDS is something that can easily be prevented.
So how did L become a condom company different from the others? It is the brainchild of photojournalist Talia Frenkel, whose regular work included photographing the effects of AIDS/HIV on women and girls around the world for the Red Cross. The knowledge that AIDS and HIV could be avoided with a simple product was what spurred her to action.
In the video below, Talia talks about a movement to make safe sex a human right. It is a unique statement to make but one that we are on board with 110%. And we hope you will too because the more the word spreads about L, the more women and girls in developing countries can have a chance at a life free from disease.
L states on their website that if they are able to corner even 5% of the condom market, they have the chance to serve 3 of the countries with the highest AIDS rate in Africa: Swaziland, Botswana and Lesotho.
There are more AIDS-related deaths across Africa than we have seen in all the wars, famines, floods and deadly diseases on the continent combined. That number? 25 million. Let that sink in for a moment… That is 25 million lives that have been lost due to something that could have been prevented with something as simple as a condom.
More access to condoms means health family planning, less diseases, more unwanted pregnancies, more students staying in school, and more opportunities to break the cycle of poverty. With every additional year that a girl attends school starting from elementary years, her potential to earn an income is increased 10-20%. This can be made possible with access to reproductive health products like a condom.
L has a multi-pronged approach to enabling their movement to be as effective as they plan. First, they are targeting high-impact areas across Africa and working with local NGO’s to better distribute the condoms. Second, they have created a way for women to be social enterprise problem-solvers by equipping them as health workers who educate their communities about the benefits of family planning and safe sex, and who are paid to distribute the condoms.
Third, they have a “students for students” program where they give access to African teens. By age 20, 80% of African youth are having sex, a statistic that mirrors that of the US. What differs is the ability to have safe sex, so L wants to empower students to make healthy choices while enabling them to stay in school at the same time.
People, this is the safe sex product we have been waiting for! Why hasn’t anyone thought of this earlier? There are numerous studies done on the huge effects on a woman’s life when she has access to safe reproductive health planning, and how it impacts not just an individuals life, but that of her community.
We just gotta put it out there that Talia is a genius for creating L, but don’t just take our word for it. It has been called a “future-forward company” by Fast Company, a “sexy and bold statement” by USA Today, “a model of sustainable innovation” by Forbes and “a product that could change the lives of millions” by Vanity Fair.
L is not just a condom brand, it is a health company and a movement that invites consumers to empower themselves with healthier alternatives while making a difference in the lives of women across the world through simple day-to-day purchases.
Like Talia says in the video below, “the more love you make, the more lives we save”.