An opportunity and a call out to all those social entrepreneurs who are thinking to expand their sanitary pads brand to new markets. Nigeria is doing a great work educating girls about menstrual hygiene and pregnancy. The Girls Health and Education Foundation has donated over 3,000 single-use sanitary pads and is looking forward to finding a brand that girls can use and reuse. Anyone keen?
Menstruation should not stop the education period.
This is exactly the message our collaborator Benedicta, founder of Girls Health and Education Foundation, has been spreading among 3,000 young girls in Nigeria.
From Ourgoodbrands, we had the chance to connect with Benedicta after doing some activist on our Instagram page to raise awareness of how dangerous and unhealthy the commercial sanitary pads are for women and the environment.
We end up in a Nigerian community of ladies who were reposting and sharing on Instagram images of commercial sanitary pads; by doing so, they had the chance to participate in a competition to win a year of free pads.
We commented on their posts to try to explain that this product was a very unsustainable option and that there were more eco-friendly alternatives out there. To our surprise, some ladies replied back with the question:
“What brands are better for us?”
Then we started researching about brands like the ones we had the chance to connect, such as Saathi Pads, Webleedforyou or Ruby Cup. But none of them, even other similar brands, were distributed in Nigeria. We could not provide a solution for these women, who genuinely needed sanitary pads and were trying their best of getting these essentials for free (as if it was a luxury product!).
Some questions blow up our minds. In the western countries, we have been using commercial sanitary pads and tampons for ages. Now we are starting to become more aware of how dangerous they can be for our health, not to mention for the environment.
So, if in the so-called “developed” countries we are starting to use more sustainable alternatives, such as biodegradable pads or reusable menstrual cups…
Why those people in poorer countries who need the sustainable sanitary pads and menstrual hygiene alternatives the most, only brands that are unethical, anti-ecological and extremely unhealthy have the right to enter these markets first?
If in all other continents around the globe we have discovered what is good and sustainable, wouldn’t it make more sense exporting these products straight away to countries such as Nigeria?
Big question marks combined with angry feelings can turn into some pretty unbelievable scenarios. We found Benedicta Chukwuyem Uweru, who was listed on some websites as an active educator of younger girls around sexuality and feminine health and hygiene.
She told us that sanitary pads are an actual problem in African countries. Heaps of women use rags – which is not hygienic – but heaps of women can just not afford sanitary pads. During our chat, she also recognised that disposable sanitary pads are not the best option, but the only choice available (whereas tampons don’t even exist there).
Since Ourgoodbrands platform is connecting social entrepreneurs and sustainable brands to good consumers, creating meaningful relationships, we want to call out for all those sanitary pads, that are sustainable, reusable, eco-friendly ethically made, biodegradable, as well as other reusable alternatives such as menstrual cups. You have an opportunity as a Social Enterprise to open a new market. Starting in Nigeria.
We have been collecting some information to advise you on a business visa, as well as working and living permits in the country. For all those social entrepreneurs that believe in this as a necessary cause and feel the urge to bring awareness to more sustainable feminine hygiene options, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are a consumer of a good brand that you believe could do a fantastic job in Nigeria, make sure you comment below, and we will try our best to contact those brands.