Issue 90 is out now
The Green Parent

By The Green Parent

31st July 2019

Celia Pool is the co-founder of DAME - the world’s first reusable tampon applicator - created in response to the massive amount of single-use plastic waste generated by traditional period products.

The Green Parent

By The Green Parent

31st July 2019

The Green Parent

By The Green Parent

31st July 2019

INSPIRATION

DAME was born out of our previous business and the fact that we stopped believing in what we were selling. We started out running a subscription service, delivering a range of high street period products to women across the UK, but we soon realised we were only skirting around the real issues at stake. The plastic waste from these single use, non-recyclable products was too massive to ignore. At the same time, we could also see that women weren’t buying the existing great reusable options (cups, cloth pads) that were available on the market in large enough numbers. At that point we were very much aware that the planet was in crisis and that big change was needed fast. We couldn’t wait for people to catch up.

So, we went and dug deeper to find out why women weren’t using existing reusable options and the answer that kept coming back was that the habit change was too big. That’s when we decided to take matters into our own hands and design a new product to bridge the gap, and make that big leap into a small easy step for the consumer. Redesigning the tampon, a product women felt comfortable with, seemed to be the most logical solution. The only difference between D and disposable tampon applicators is that you don’t throw D away. You just rinse it in cold water in between uses, that’s it.

Already we have saved 156 million pieces of plastic from going to waste which is immense. But we’re just getting started and want to multiply this number hundreds of times over so we can prevent the needless rubbish that is created from menstrual products. We are a certified B Corp which means that we believe in the power of business as a force for good. It’s the only certification out there that measures a business’s entire social and environmental impact. We partner with women’s empowerment programmes to make our DAME travel wallets for our applicator, donate our product to charities and use our ‘reduce or reuse’ philosophy all along our design process.

BEST BEAUTY ADVICE

Stop reading “beauty” magazines and websites. They do the opposite of what they purport and end up making you feel pretty rubbish about yourself. It is the cheapest beauty solution I am yet to find.

DESERT ISLAND PRODUCT

An endless supply of moisturiser. Hand, face, body, anything will do so long as there is enough of it that I can virtually bathe in it non-stop. I was a big Weleda user when my babies were little but since then I have dipped into their products every now and again for myself. My skin is as dry as the Gobi desert so I’m still searching for the ultimate face moisturiser though.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOUR BRAND?

We are at the beginning of a very big mountain we have to climb. Tampons have been dominated by one major player for the last few decades and it very much feels like we’re the David taking on the Goliath, but it’s a challenge we’re up for.

Ultimately, we’re all about giving women more choice in how they handle their period because we realise every vagina is different. We want to stand alongside the other great reusable menstrual options that are out there and give tampon users an option that is better for their bodies and the planet.

Whilst there is an awesome bunch of people out there who are already having a sustainable period, sadly they’re still in the minority. We want to help those women who are acutely aware of the plastic crisis but have less awareness of how their tampon choices are part of the problem. We hope to give them more information about what is in their tampons and what is happening to all the waste tampons generate (for every 1km of UK beach, 9 plastic tampon applicators are found).

Along with this, we want to create beautiful products that are simple and desirable to use, so that we can start to normalise periods.

We were stunned when we won a 2018 Dezeen Design Award in recognition of our product design. It fortified our resolve to go further; if we can do this with a tampon, then we can turn the whole bathroom green.

TAKE ACTION AT HOME

I’m all about simplicity and baby steps as not everyone is ready to change all their ingrained personal care habits in one go:

  1. Don’t buy any new products until you have absolutely run out of your old ones first. Sounds obvious but it’s so easy to collect more and more bottles, trying this and that without ever really running dry in the first place. Plus, it means you avoid the inevitable domino effect caused when trying to squeeze past the lineup of bottles whilst getting into the bath.
  2. Move to reusables as much as possible. Like using washable facial pads instead of cotton wool ones to clean your face or remove make-up, it is such an easy switch.
  3. Break the habit. Our preferred menstrual product is often so ingrained that it stops us from questioning our habits. We don’t often think about the waste, but a woman uses on average 12,000 tampons in her lifetime. That’s a lot of single-use plastic needlessly going to waste. So, whether it be cup, cloth pad or, say, a reusable tampon applicator, try it because the positive impact you will be making is massive. Plus, you will be leading by example and starting your daughters off in the right way.

MORE INFO wearedame.co

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