A Letter From Our Founder
Founding Cora was fueled by the idea that creating a brand could be an agent for change by having a positive impact on women's lives, and giving generously in the process.
This idea was sparked during a trip to Kenya, when I met a girl named Purity in a small rural community. She told me she stayed home from school during the week of her period every month. And that most of the other girls in the village did the same. At a moment when girls' education was finally becoming a priority for the community, these girls were missing school and falling behind because they still lacked access to a basic need—safe and effective menstrual care.
From day one, giving has been central to who we are as a brand. This is championed and made possible by our incredible community of customers whose purchases drive this mission forward. We could not give the way we do without your astute social consciousness and unwavering passion for this cause.
Now, five years in, it’s a significant moment—to thank you for making this possible, reflect on our actions, how we have, and will continue to use our business to amplify women’s voices, create access and benefit the planet.
Thank you for being a part of this work.
Here are a few highlights of what we’ve accomplished, together.
pads + tampons
14,000 single-use products diverted from landfills for each person permanently switching to Cora Cup or Period Underwear
75% of domestic giving dedicated to BIPOC communities from 2020 onward
Around the world, an estimated 100 million girls experience period poverty.
We created Cora as a force for change. Because we believe that every girl has the right to experience her body with dignity and agency.
To do this, we use a percentage of profits from each purchase to provide pads and health education to those in need through our partners on the ground in India, Kenya, and the United States.
I learn that menstruation is as normal as we breathe. It’s natural. And powerful. And I don’t need to be ashamed. I learn that girls are equal to boys. Because of girls, life exists.
—MEGHA, BHOR, INDIA
How it works
When you subscribe to Cora a percentage of your purchase each month goes to buy compostable pads from a local social enterprise who distributes them and provides health education.
Aakar Innovations creates awareness about and access to affordable, high quality, environmentally friendly menstrual hygiene products—empowering women and girls to make informed choices and enabling them to take charge of their own socio-economic development.
In Kenya, it’s a challenge for girls. We have more challenges than boys. When I first got my period, the cloth leaked and I stained my uniform…I stayed at home because I was afraid and felt shy…When wearing a pad, periods don't stop me from doing anything.
—REBECCA, GITHURAI, KENYA
How it works
Cora uses 10% of its profits from retail sales to buy pads from a local social enterprise who distributes them and provides health education.
ZanaAfrica Foundation equips adolescent girls with the tools they need to safely navigate puberty and reach their full potential, while also leading global advocacy efforts to break the period taboo.
How it works
We donate our own goods to communities in need by working with organizations that can distribute them where they will have the most impact.
Historically, we've looked for moments in time when we could make a significant impact during a time of crisis or to an organization doing bold work in their community. Here are some of the organizations we've partnered with:
Support the Girls, #HappyPeriod, Homeless Period Project, Simply the Basics, Linelife Foundation, At The Crossroads, Hawaii Disaster Relief, Hurricane Disaster Relief, Cloth Connection Outreach, Camp Fire Relief, The Tipi Raisers, City Hope, Illumination Foundation, No More Secrets—Mind, Body, Spirit, Inc., Payne Phalen Community Council, FloCode, Hate the Dot, Our Periods Matter, United Way, Union Rescue Mission
We create our goods with intention. To honor our bodies and the earth.
At Cora we make goods for the body that are good for your body. And the planet. In other words, we’re on a mission to create the highest performing products in the most sustainable ways. This includes product packaging which has a massive impact on the environment. We carefully consider every element of ours to radically reduce the amount of plastic and waste compared to other brands in our category.
+ Made in the U.S.
+ Reusable, lasts up to 10 years
+ 95% cotton
+ Certified STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX®
+ Tampons made with 100% GOTS certified organic cotton
+ Plastic applicators are BPA-free
+ Made in the U.S.
+ 100% GOTS certified organic cotton topsheet
+ Made of plant-derived materials
+ No animal testing, Leaping Bunny certified
+ One Wash
+ No animal testing, Leaping Bunny certified
+ Made with naturally-derived ingredients and without irritating chemicals
In 2020, we’ve focused on analyzing the effectiveness of our products and their environmental impact while maintaining our rigorous health standards. By the end of 2021, we’re committed to:
+ Reducing plastic from our tampon supply chain by converting all tampon applicators to plant-based plastic and replacing plastic wrappers with paper by the end of 2021
+ Removing synthetic materials and ingredients wherever possible
+ Launching new sustainable goods
90% of our goods sold in 2019 carried one or more of the following certifications:
In June of 2020, we took a step back to consider how better to dedicate ourselves to being actively antiracist. Part of this evolution is a new commitment to donate 6.6M goods across the United States by 2022 with 75% going to BIPOC communities.
Diversity & Inclusion
We fundamentally believe that diversity leads to greater creativity and success within our business and society. And that every person has the right to equal opportunity. To that end, Cora dedicates resources to ensure our team employs equitable hiring practices that remove bias, while being intentional about giving back to our community in ways that fight racism.
Here’s some of what we’ve what we’ve accomplished since June 2020:
+ 100,000 products to organizations serving black communities since June 2020
+ Identified partner organizations focused on mentorship for girls and young women, prioritizing those supporting underserved BIPOC communities
+ Begun to vet hiring resources to diversify our pool of candidates, outlined goals to optimize how many candidates are required in order to move into each phase of interviews, and created an interview checklist to evaluate skill and culture fits by using the same lens across all interviews
+ Working to better incorporate "future hires" into our annual planning process to better predict where more time and resources may be needed to help meet diversity goals
+ Identified a highly experienced partner organization to work with over the long-term to build and facilitate ongoing D&I training
+ Created a robust supplier diversity questionnaire for our partners
+ Recruited a team of Cora employees that are specifically accountable for culture, diversity, and inclusion throughout Cora
PERIOD PTO 20% of women experience periods painful enough to interfere with daily activities. We recognize period symptoms as a good reason to take a sick day.
LIVING WAGE 100% of Cora's employees and contractors are paid a living wage for San Francisco.
PROUD TO BE A B-CORP We are part of a community of 2,500 companies across 50 countries that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. B Corps are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.
UNLIMITED TIME OFF Cora is proud to be amongst the 1-2% of companies in the U.S. that offers unlimited paid time off.
PARENTING Because of COVID-19, parents are scrambling to juggle remote school and childcare solutions. We recognize these unique pressures and are committed to being as flexible as possible for a fast-growing startup. To close the gap, we offer financial support for Cora parents with children who are unable to go back to school or daycare. Parents are reimbursed up to $1000 per month for childcare solutions.
CLEAN COMMUTE Based in SF, we enjoy many green transportation options. Prior to Covid-19, only 4% of our team drove to work, 20% worked from home, and the remaining 76% walked, biked, or used public transit.
ONGOING EDUCATION We provide reimbursement for continuing education credentials, and have an allocated budget for external development opportunities. In 2019, each full-time employee of Cora was granted a career coach through BetterUP.
As the editorial arm of Cora, Blood&Milk’s mission is to revolutionize women’s health content in the same way Cora changed how women care for their bodies. Our goal is to provide thoughtful and thought-provoking content that speaks to the breadth of the female experience.
In June, as a response to racial inequalities we see in our society and pervasively in women’s health, we established a Race + Intersectionality vertical to more overtly create space for BIPOC stories and perspectives. To do this requires a diverse team of contributors. Our current team identifies in the following ways:
26.7% Black or African American
1% South Asian
1% Asian European
1% White English/Black Caribbean
We honor the planet and ecosystems that sustain all life by continually reducing our supply chain's environmental footprint.
On average, Cora goods have 85% less toxins than conventional products.
ORGANIC COTTON Although less than 1% of the world’s cotton is grown organically—we use it exclusively for our tampons and topsheets. Because what you put in (and on) your body matters and it’s made without pesticides, dyes, bleaches, and other toxic chemicals.
LEED-CERTIFIED WAREHOUSE Even our warehouse has a clean conscience. In 2019, we found a partner able to ensure all of our goods headed to our retail partners travel on full trucks going to the same store (like a rideshare for tampons)—making each mile as efficient as possible.
EMISSIONS As a startup committed to natural goods and giving back, we make an effort to minimize the negative side effects shipping goods has on planet earth. We do this by limiting air freight and are actively pursuing a program to offset our carbon emissions.
QUARTERLY SHIPPING For direct shipping, we use two warehouses—one in North Carolina and one in California to minimize freight emissions. Subscriptions are mailed once every three months to lessen environmental impact.
LOOKING FORWARD In 2021, our goal is to track our supply chain's carbon emissions and find new ways to offset our environmental impact. While we constantly strive for efficiency, we will use our current status as a benchmark to ensure we are operating in the most responsible way possible.