Ask any person who menstruates and they’ll tell you that having a period can hardly be equated to luxury.
Despite this, until very recently, tampons were considered ‘luxury goods’ and therefore taxed with the VAT rate of 19%, while goods such as caviar, oil paintings and truffles were taxed at only 7% in Germany.
This obviously didn’t sit right with a lot of people, since menstruation is a natural function of the human body and sanitary products are an essential.
To protest against this sexist law, The Period Company, a feminine hygiene brand, found a loophole to avoid the tampon tax.
Since books were taxed at just 7%, the brand packaged 15 tampons in a 46-page book, published it and made it available for sale
Along with the tampons, the book included fascinating facts and amusing stories about menstruation from biblical times to the current era, as well as illustrations from Alica Läuger and Ana Curbelo printed on recycled paper.
The first printing of The Tampon Book sold out in a day, the second in a week.
The campaign grabbed the attention of German lawmakers. Female politicians shared the book with their followers.
A petition with over 150,000 signatures was presented in parliament, and with pressure from the media – the German government did away with the outdated law.