The world's trusted guide to sustainable and ethical fashion

The world's trusted guide to sustainable and ethical fashion

Skip the Drugstore, Buy Sustainable L. Condoms Instead

I always feel uncomfortable buying condoms. It’s not because I’m embarrassed; I am 26 years old and totally allowed to have sex. But it seems all the condoms in the “family planning” aisle are not meant for me. Perhaps I could illustrate this by giving condom companies personalities?

Trojan is the hard charging, muscular dude who want to bang you hard as a conquest and declare victory to his friends.

Durex is the average bro who thinks longer is better, and will keep trying to have (forgettable) sex for 45 straight minutes until you push him off, pleading for mercy for your poor vag.

Lifestyles is the club douche who unbuttons his shiny striped shirt halfway down his chest, and who thinks buying you a shot of Patron entitles him to something.

Yep, all these condoms are most definitely marketed to men, and crassly so. But what about ladies? We like to be responsible too, and that includes keeping something in our bedside table drawers. I just wish that something wasn’t so tasteless and full of chemicals.

That’s where L. Condoms comes in, which if it had a personality, would be the classy lady in the well-tailored, little black dress sipping on an organic gin tonic. Oh, and she also happens to be a well-educated philanthropist.uganda-talia-large

L. for the Men and Ladies, and For a Cause

L. Condoms was founded by Talia Frenkel, a photojournalist who observed first-hand how preventable transmission of AIDs was devastating the developing world. As she told Fast Company, “More human life has been lost to AIDS than all the wars, famines, floods, and deadly diseases on the African continent combined.” People there knew they needed condoms, but didn’t have access to them. Stores would just run out for up to two months. Talia wanted to get condoms in the hands of the people who need and want them, but was disappointed by the market. Condoms were (and still mostly are) treated with harsh chemicals that are irritating for women.

So Talia create L., a 3-year-old company that makes vegan-friendly, non-toxic condoms that both men and women won’t be embarrassed or uncomfortable to buy. The design is sleek, modern, and gender neutral. And for every condom purchased, one is distributed to a developing country. This for-profit company is all about sexual empowerment,–Talia believes safe sex is a human right.

L. condoms use silky lubricant that is glycerin-free and paraben-free. It’s designed to be female-friendly, moisture-rich and emulate the body’s own natural lubrication. You won’t find any Benzocaine or Nonoxynol-9 in L. condoms either–they use only high-grade ingredients without potentially harmful additives.

L. condoms come in 100% recycled paper packaging printed with vegetable inks. No cellophane or plastic is used in packaging, directions for use are printed on the inner walls of the box to save paper, and the modern minimalist black and white design allows them to save on ink wastage and makes the end product easier to recycle. L. recycles all unused and excess rubber latex that is created in the manufacturing process. This natural rubber latex is sent to facilities that then re-use the material to make other rubber products, such as flip flops. Natural rubber latex products are eventually biodegradable. Oh, and they are thoroughly tested to ensure efficacy. No unwanted babies here!

Talia is aiming at middle ground–if just 1 out of 20 people in the U.S. who are currently buying condoms choose L, they could serve the condom needs of the three countries with the highest AID prevalence rate in Africa.

If you want to be one of those twenty people, you can order L Condoms online, or–if you live in California–pick them up in a CVS.


  • Alden Wicker

    Ruth Alden Wicker is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of EcoCult, and author of To Dye For: How Toxic Fashion Is Making Us Sick – and How We Can Fight Back. She also writes for publications including Vogue, The New York Times, Wired, The Cut, Vox, and many more.

Threads for Thought Cofounders Eric and Leigh Fleet

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