Start Making World Changing Sex: 1 for 1 condom company focuses on women’s empowerment: re-invents product and messaging while supporting AIDS prevention and reproductive rights in the developing world.
After witnessing first hand the effects of HIV/AIDS on women and girls around the world, photojournalist Talia Frenkel decided to do something about it.
Enter L. Condom.
An ambitious socially powered American start-up that sells premium condoms for a cause.
The company is selling condoms in the US for $15 and available online and delivered in under an hour for a flat rate of $5. One condom will be distributed in Uganda for every condom in this purchase (in the current promotion on its website).
For every condom purchased, one is distributed in a developing country. But L. doesn’t stop there – the company focuses on supporting women leaders as catalysts for change and development.
At its core, L. is setting out to create a superior product that rests on three pillars: Sex, Cause, & World.
Sex: L. has re-engineered the condom.
From premium quality high-grade latex to formulating moisture-rich, female-friendly lubricants with out harmful additives, L. focuses on creating the most natural and pleasurable way to practice safe sex. L. condoms use purified latex so that they are uniquely low in latex scent and are glycerin and paraben free. All condoms are individually electronically tested to exceed FDA and international standards.
Cause: Integral to L.’s inception and mission is to fight the international AIDS epidemic.
In Africa, there are more deaths caused by AIDS than all the wars, famines, floods, and deadly diseases on the continent – combined. Increasingly, women and girls are the face of the epidemic as they are disproportionately affected at a young age.
Condoms are the most effective technology in HIV prevention as well as a simple form of birth control that provide a greater quality of life. Still, 9 out of 10 countries in Africa go through regular condom stock outs that typically last 2 months or more. L. has set out to address this through a one for one consumer driven donation model.
One for one is only the beginning. L. has been credited with re-inventing the model, dubbed 1 for 1 +, by focusing on building capacity of its partners and facilitating the creation of long-term distribution channels.
Currently, L. is partnered with Direct Relief International and working with female-run social enterprise programs. Similar to the recent trend in international focus on women from Nike’s Girl Effect to the Half the Sky Movement – L.’s programs focus particularly on women leaders as agents of progress.
World: L. takes measure to be as sustainable as possible, and beyond that, the company aims to be restorative and enriching. From sourcing raw materials local to their manufacturing facility to providing product in recycled packaging – L. strives to deliver thoughtfully-designed products that are compatible with the environment. Their condoms also only use sustainably tapped 100% natural latex and are Vegan- friendly.
L. draws a connection between developed and developing world women through unique marketing and the opportunity for daily actions to support women globally.
“Sex is universal, but protection is not.” says founder Talia Frenkel, who started the venture out of frustration at the preventative nature of the epidemic. “A largely untapped resource in Africa, women have the unique abilities and skills to strengthen and lead the global response to AIDS.”
The sleek design, product features and company mission sets the company apart as a bold option for the modern consumer. Uniquely, L. is focused on empowering a hugely under-represented market for condoms – women. “Birth control pills are a common site in a women’s purse, but condoms are not. Part of what L. is about is making condoms sexy.”
But more than just a product, L. is creating a movement by offering consumers an opportunity to create massive change through simple choices and actions within their everyday lives. If just one in 20 condom purchases were made with L., the HIV prevention needs of the three countries with the highest prevalence of AIDS could be met, averting countless new HIV transmissions and improving the quality of life for even more.
As part of this movement, L. is transforming consumers into advocates, giving them the opportunity to participate by hosting social events as well as wearing L. t-shirts and donning wristbands that show their support for women globally.