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June 14, 2021

My Adelaide with Eloise Hall

As the co-founder of menstrual health social enterprise Taboo, Eloise Hall tells CityMag she wants to see more support and recognition from government for companies set up to contribute to social causes.

  • Words: Eloise Hall, as told to Johnny von Einem
  • Pictures: Morgan Sette
  • This article first appeared in CityMag's Winter 2021 print edition

I probably had some [entrepreneurial DNA growing up], but without knowing it.

The word entrepreneur wasn’t a thing, it’s just that my family made things work from what they had.

My dad has a small business; he’s a used car dealer, he has his own dealership, so I’ve always had small business talk around the house.


Eloise Hall is a 2020 40 Under 40 alumnus.

Meet the 2021 40 Under 40 here.

Connect with Taboo:

My granddad was an inventor. He was a radio operator in World War II and after the war he worked in an engineering firm. He invented the hole in the centre of the barbecue plate.

He came up with the design with his friend from Italy, and the firm went, ‘We like the patent, can we buy it off of you?’ Dad has the OG hotplate in the shed.

I’ve always had a social conscience. I’ve never wanted a job where I couldn’t contribute to other people’s lives.

It was probably by chance Izzy [Marshall] and I, the other co-founder of Taboo, were discussing social enterprises and I absolutely fell in love with the idea that you can sell something that people buy all the time and then use the profits to invest in a social mission.

We started thinking about what we buy in our everyday life that we would contribute a lot to throughout our whole life, and that’s when we started talking about pads and tampons.

That’s what led us to really look at what menstrual wellbeing looks like for people living below the poverty line or who are financially restricted.

Once we learned so many girls couldn’t go to school because they didn’t have access to pads, that was the moment of realising this is actually feeding the poverty cycle in general.

We were, I think, healthily naïve. We didn’t know what to expect.

It’s been hard. Social enterprises, as a structure, aren’t very well supported, so we’ve been working for free for five years. I’ve been working in hospitality to pay my way through life, which has been quite difficult in a personal sense. You’ve only got so much energy to give every day.

There’s not an official structure within Australia for social enterprises, so they’re often registered as companies, and they have some kind of charity partnership – whether that be their own charity or other charities.

There are just so many hoops to jump through so you can function as a really impactful social enterprise, in terms of tax structures and all the rest, so all social enterprises that I know of are very hybrid in their format, which is pretty unsustainable.

I’m keen to have that conversation continue with government to make the model more supported.

That’s the future of business as well. Consumers are putting pressure on companies to have their social responsibility in line. If we have a structure for social enterprises, then we can have companies that exist completely for social causes.

There are so many hoops to jump through to function as an impactful social enterprise, which is pretty unsustainable.
—Eloise Hall


The brand has been so well supported by people who are passionate about our cause, and that’s what has undoubtedly kept us going.

We have an IGA in Malvern who stock our product for free. They don’t take any margin because they love the brand and they go, ‘These are the resources we can offer to this cause.’ It’s overwhelming.


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In the early days of Taboo, finding mentors and finding advice was really quite easy, because we just went to one of our mate’s dads who has a business, and because he’s in the entrepreneurial space he got one of his other friends to talk to us, then they suggested we talk to this person and that person.

You can quite quickly reach advice or pockets of information that you wouldn’t maybe know how to access if you were drowned out in a big city.

And because we’ve relied on so many people’s support, I think people have found it quite exciting to be a part of that journey.

Everyone we speak to is proud to be a part of it. They know they played a part.

And that’s what we’ve been very conscious of, it’s nothing to do with us, it’s about this mission, and we need everyone’s support. 

There have been weeks, especially this year, where it’s been quite wild, where I’m so exhausted, but it’s been quite beautiful to feel the exhaustion existing in really good stuff.

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