Life

The unique way this Scottish company is fighting period poverty in the UK

Posted by
Susan Devaney
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Hey Girls, a Scotland-based company, is fighting period poverty by donating one pack of sanitary pads to charity for every one sold. 

Period poverty is a worldwide problem faced by women and girls on a daily basis as they struggle to pay for sanitary products – even in the UK.

Which is why a Scotland-based company has launched an initiative to combat the issue across the country through Hey Girls.

Founded by Celia Hodson and her two daughters, the company has pledged the initiative to donate one pack of sanitary pads for every one bought to a girl who can’t afford her own.

Launched on Monday 8 January, the sanitary products are available to buy online and available UK-wide. Tampons will be available to buy the end of 2018. 

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With one in 10 girls across the UK unable to buy sanitary products, according to Plan International, Hodson wanted to try and tackle the problem head-on.

“It all started with a heated discussion between myself and my two daughters that resulted in a big hairy audacious goal! We simply wanted to work out if we could fix period poverty and what that would look like,” Hodson told Stylist.co.uk.

As a single mother, previously living on benefits, Hodson knows all too well the financial struggle of buying sanitary products when you’re on a low income.

“Back in the Eighties and Nineties, benefits were drawn weekly at the post office. And I remember having jam jars to budget for electricity, food, clothing and toiletries.

“Like most mums, I didn’t want my girls to feel any different from other girls at school. So sometimes buying sanitary pads meant that the family was then on soup or oven chips and nuggets for that week.

“I had a hysterectomy and the first thing that crossed my mind when the doctor told me I was to have an operation was that I was going save us a fortune each month!”

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And Hodson doesn’t think things have improved in 2018.

“I believe it’s even worse now. And in reality there is less help for a family on benefits and the working poor. It is so important that we seek sustainable ways to address period poverty in the UK that are not reliant on the government,” Hodson explains.

“If you have to buy menstrual products anyway, you may as well do something good with the cost. We set up Hey Girls to provide an alternative shopping experience for those wishing to make a difference with the items they purchase for themselves. By ‘buying social’ they are doing good directly via each pack they buy.”

Last year police discovered young girls in West Yorkshire were skipping school due to a lack of fund to purchase the necessary sanitary products.

“Many of these kids are from low-income families. There’s often more than one child, and families really are struggling with finances, with these products often coming far down the priority line,” police officer Sara Barrie told The Independent.

“The girls are so sensitive that they don’t want to upset mum by saying they need them because they know money’s tight.”

It has been estimated that British women spend around £18,450 on their periods throughout their lives.

Made from natural bamboo and corn fibre, wrapped in biodegradable film and recyclable, the sanitary products are also eco-friendly. You can purchase a pack here.

Eco-friendly and charitable? We’re on board. 

Images: Hey Girls / Instagram