Period Poverty Project
In 2020, living in a severe poverty condition is happening not only in the Third World countries but also in developed ones like the UK, where 5.2 million women are in poverty - compared to 4.7 million men. These women are the same that, more or less once a month, need to face the difficulties of buying period products, because they don’t have the money to purchase them.
This situation is happening to English people with periods, mothers who can't afford pads for themselves or their daughters, asylum seekers, members of discriminated communities (like for example trans people) and many people that with this pandemic have found themselves in serious financial difficulties.
For a few years now, we have named this phenomenon “period poverty” - a social and economic issue that affects too many womxn. These people, in fact - unable to purchase even disposable pads - are forced to make ends meet every month using toilet paper, tissues and fabric cloths. Otherwise, they “free bleed”, so they don’t use anything for their period.
As if having periods is a choice. It is not. And that's why sanitary products should be given to people in need as basic necessities.
In the past few years the UK decreased the tax on period products and, finally, next year the government is going to totally remove it. But we are far from solving period poverty, meanwhile in Scotland the government decided to give free period products to whoever needs them, starting this year.
If something is changing in the landscape of womxn's health rights, we owe it to the many associations that were born to raise awareness and funds for period poverty. We’d like to mention one of the biggest and most engaged ones: Bloody Good Period. BGP gives away period products to those who can’t afford them and provides menstrual education to those less likely to access it; as they say in their website “Menstrual supplies are not cheap, but for anyone with a period, they are, of course, an absolute necessity”. That’s the switch we need in our mindset: period is not a choice and using period products is a necessity.
The Bloody Good Period also created a report that you can read at this link about the difficulties people face when trying to access period products.
These are some of the reasons why we decided to create a Period Poverty Project, started on October 2020. The first part ended in January 2021.
We educate people around periods and making healthy or conscious choices when it comes to it, but we are very much aware this is a privilege for a few. So while privileged people can purchase on our platform reusable or organic products for periods, pureeros donated part of its revenue to purchase disposable products and give them to people in need.
How did the first Period Poverty Project work?
We placed some products on our platform with a "period poverty project" label.
Whenever someone purchased those products, pureeros donated between £0.50 and £1 to purchase sanitary products for people in need.
Plus, there were a donation box at checkout specifically created to let you choose the amount you wanted to donate, if you'd like to contribute even more.
We are really happy and proud to say that there was so much contribution during these months!
Can you still help?
Starting from January 2021, the donation from the purchase of single products from the platform is suspended but we strongly suggest you that you go and check regularly this page, as we'll soon let you know when another round of donations will be active.
You can still, at the checkout, find the donation box where you can add a donation to your basket. You can do it by purchasing any product on pureeros.
What kind of products we donated?
We are very happy that the fundraising went so well and we are also very proud to tell you that we donated 300 boxes of pads and 100 intimate products (from hygiene wipes to intimate washes, etc).
Why not donating menstrual cups or period underwear?
Most people in period poverty live without reliable access to bathrooms or washing facilities to keep cups or reusable pads clean. Many have also suffered trauma or FGM, which makes using cups difficult or impossible. We therefore prioritise getting these women the products they are familiar with and feel comfortable with.
Who received the first product donation?
We collaborated with Gruppo Abele, an onlus and ngo founded in Turin in 1965, with the purpose to remove what creates marginalisation, inequality, confusion but also to sustain those who are experiencing hard times, following them in a personalised path to replace them in the society that marginalised them.
In particular, Gruppo Abele founded projects fully dedicated to poverty and social inclusion, that focus on who lost their home, who lives in poverty and weakness, women who are alone and have at-risk pregnancies due to sanitary jeopardy. Pureeros' donation is especially aiming at them.
Of course, we'll keep you posted on all details and we'll update here with photos and testimonies from the donation. Thanks to your help are able to support people in need of hygiene products even during this pandemic, which has increased the level of poverty and the demand for support.
We'd love to thank all members of our fantastic community who decided to support this project and helped us raising this first incredible amount of funds. If you have any questions on the Period Poverty Project, reach out!