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The French Condom Company Redefines the “Ethics” of Sex

| Friday February 27th, 2009 | 3 Comments

French%20Letter%20Condoms.jpg We all know what it means to have safe sex. But what does it mean to have responsible sex? Be it during moments of intimacy or not, it could be safe to assume that very few of us think of how the average prophylactic was produced, where it came from, and its environmental impact.
Since 2007 and from a small team of three, The French Letter Condom Company Ltd has brought ethical condoms to the European market. French Letter Condoms (which was named from the British colloquialism “french letter” for condoms) reaches a market where choice of condom brand is possible and where sustainability, even in the bedroom, is relevant. But what exactly what makes a condom “ethical,” and importantly, can they be as good as the rest?

Condoms are normally made of synthetic latex, sourced from unsustainable farm practices in developing countries where the work conditions are not ideal. There is also the matter of environmental problems relating to disposal and decomposition of condoms. In this regard, many environmental groups have pointed out the damaging impacts of their use, for example, animals mistaking litter as food, smothering of reefs and asphyxiation of sea dwelling organisms, as well as the extensive time period required for the biodegradation of latex. Condom wrappings are typically non-biodegradable and there are also condoms made of plastic materials, such as polyurethane, which also do not biodegrade at all.
Martin, one of the three owners, says that French Letter condoms are certified to ensure the highest manufacturing standards in quality, as well as offer an ethical bottom line. The condoms are made from latex derived from organic farms across India and Sri Lanka are endorsed by “Fair Deal Trading,” with each packet of condoms sold contributing to the improvement of wages and healthcare standards for rubber tappers and their communities.
Usually, the wide ranging benefits of condoms are considered to outweigh their negative effects on the environment. In fact, some have seen the condom, in and of itself, as the “single most important environmental innovation.” French Letter strikes a balance between a growing product demand and meeting a sustainable business objective to ensure the product arrives to sale in a responsible manner. For this, French Letter condoms add another element to the interesting list of sustainable initiatives to be considered as we, according to the Greenpeace Eco-sex guide famously says “get it on for the good of the planet.”
French Letter’s product range, which is manufactured in Germany and certified to meet European standards includes scented, studded, and silky light condoms for example, offering an array of products competitive with most conventional brands. According to the company founders, their product offers “the opportunity of making love with an eye on fair play.”
If you want to try and buy visit: www.frenchlettercondoms.co.uk
Sources and for more information check out:
Ethical Superstore
Greenpeace’s Eco Sex Guide
Greenpeace Mexico


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  • http://www.ethicaljohnny.com Ethical Johnny

    Note that French Letter condoms are also available from http://www.ethicaljohnny.com
    This is an ethical condom company that gives away 50% of its profit to charity.
    Durex, Pasante and other brands are also available from this site – again, with 50% of all profits going to charity.

  • http://www.energy-savingnews.com Ross

    For those primarily concerned by climate change: some condom manufacturers are making their products less carbon intensive but not even telling us! The health and well-being message which needs to be got across is (rightly) deemed more important than ‘green’ condoms.
    The chairman of the company which makes the Durex brand recently detailed how much less carbon intensive Durex condoms were becoming in a quietly-released eco-article, but their normal PR refuses to pursue the message. The company gains by reduced production costs and we gain from making our nocturnal habits less carbon-intensive!

  • http://www.ethicaljohnny.com Ethical Johnny

    Possibly the best of both worlds is to be found here: http://www.ethicaljohnny.com/collections/condoms/one-condoms
    One Condoms are not-for-profit condoms. The profits are used to support programmes combating AIDS in Africa. And to further boost their green credentials, One Water (by the same parent company) does the same thing but to bring water to communities in Africa that lack it.

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