At this point, it’s hard to keep track of all the vegan, eco-friendly condoms. Sir Richard’s makes vegan sausage sheaths and donates one to a developing country when you buy one. Sustain Condoms are fair trade and nontoxic, if slightly insulting (uh, not all women are afraid to purchase prophylactics). And of course there’s Glyde, the grandpappy of vegan, ethical, fair-trade condoms.
That’s even without the funny ones: Oil Spill Condoms clean up the Gulf AND jizz, and Endangered Species Condoms remind you that overpopulation threatens the critters with slogans like, “In the sack? Save the leatherback [sea turtle]!”
So forgive some green raincoat fatigue when I heard about L. International. “Yet another slickly designed, one-for-one, ‘TOMS of condoms,’” I thought, dozing off. Then I realized L. was actually kinda cool.
Its silly ad didn’t hurt (puppies! Swearing!):
L. seems like part of a trend (albeit in the New York Times style section way) of condom companies appealing to your conscience in a holistic way, rather than just trumpeting “No animal products!” The company really pushes that it’s trying to help women in HIV-stricken parts of Africa, where condoms are prohibitively expensive.
Say what you will about buying condoms — it’s awkward; there are too many choices; what’s with the weird ribbing?! — but they’ve never been so pricey that I thought, “Screw it; let’s get herpes.” It’s sobering that some women don’t have that choice.
Not only does L. distribute condoms in these “high-impact areas,” impoverished places rife with AIDS and lacking condoms, but the company supports programs that train women as health workers and pay them to distribute condoms. L. also supports sex ed and condom access for students in sub-Saharan Africa.
There are some pretty sweet benefits for you, the safe-sex-haver, too. L. condoms are glycerin- and paraben-free, made of purified, “sustainably tapped” natural latex. (They’re also billed as vegan-friendly, so we’re guessing they contain no milk casein.) Plus, L. offers one-hour delivery by bike in San Francisco and L.A., so you REALLY have no excuse to bone bareback.
The green condom market’s feeling a little turgid, but we’re glad L. slipped in. Now you can sustainably tap that ass.