The Good Fund - Period Poverty - real impact
They’ve only been up and running for a few months, but a New Zealand not-for-profit has already made a big impact on period poverty in New Zealand.
The Good Fund, founded by Emily Holdaway and Kimberli Schuitman both fully and partially funds reusable period products for anyone in New Zealand that may be struggling with the cost of their period on an ongoing basis.
Since The Good Fund was launched, only 4 months ago, they have had over 850 applications for help, and sent over $12,000 worth of reusable period products to menstruating people all across NZ. They have been able to achieve this after kickstarting with a nation-wide fundraising effort in June that nettted over $30,000 from the sales of donated baby and toddler clothing.
In sustainability language; this equates to over $800,000 savings to our communities, over 16,000 kgs of menstrual waste reduction in landfill, and the equivalent of 25,000kgs of carbon greenhouse gases saved.
People don’t realise the environmental impact of disposable period products’, says Emily Holdaway, co-founder and writer of the blog Raising Ziggy. “We put them in a special bin in the toilet, and then they go . . . where? Away? Away to landfill. When we started The Good Fund, it was important to us to offer help to people, and also to have a positive impact on our environment. This is why we choose to fund reusable menstrual products. Often the initial outlay for these products is out of reach, I mean heck, if you can’t afford a box of tampons, how in hell are you going to buy a menstrual cup or period underwear? - that’s where The Good Fund comes in.
Climate change is now influencing many decisions we make about the products we buy. Technology has changed our lives dramatically over the last 20 years, yet mainstream menstrual management products remain unchanged. “New innovative period products are now flooding the market.” states Kimberli Schuitman, The Good Fund co-founder and Founder of MyCup NZ, “but we are yet to see a huge shift in attitude towards these products as they are mostly misunderstood. Did you know that menstrual cups have been around since the 1930’s, and can reduce your menstrual waste footprint by 99.99%? Single-use disposable menstrual products take from 500-800 years to break down and even longer now that landfills are sealed. Half the planet menstruates, lets save our communities money, reduce our waste and use products that are healthy for our bodies.”
As well as offering funded reusable menstrual products, The Good Fund is passionate about education and awareness about periods and the options available. They have been invited to take part in the Hamilton Toi Wahine Festival this weekend, and will take the opportunity to speak to the public about reusable period products, as well as running a 45 minute workshop on sustainable menstruation.
Both women have a clear message for those wanting to end period poverty “You need to do more than say ‘here’s a cup, okay you’re good to go’, Because it’s not that simple. Bodies are different, periods are different, cups are different. Does the person we help have a prolapse? Or a low cervix? What do THEY want to use? Those are the questions we knew were important, and that’s why, not only do we offer 9 different types and brands of menstrual cups, cloth pads and period underwear - but the decision about who gets what product is made by the person who applied for help. That’s not our call, it’s theirs - we are here to help empower people to make their own decisions about their body”.
So how do people access this help? It’s very simple,
apply online at www.thegoodfund.co.nz/apply-now
Regardless of your age, location, situation - there is no criteria except self-assessed need.
The Good Fund runs
entirely on donations and fundraising efforts. It costs
approx $4000 each month to fund products for everyone who
applies for help.
Want to help? You can make a donation at www.thegoodfund.co.nz/donate