Wā Collective Brings Menstrual Cups to the People of NZ
Wā Collective Brings Menstrual Cups to the People of New Zealand
To coincide with yesterday’s International Women’s Day, social enterprise Wā Collective launched their menstrual cups nationwide, furthering their mission of ending New Zealand’s ‘period poverty’.
Founder Olie Body started the company in June 2017 after a survey of 1,000 students in Wellington showed that one-third of menstruators had skipped class because they did not have access to menstrual products.
“That survey blew us away, we had no idea the scale of the problem,” says Body. She describes ‘period poverty’ as a result of socio-economic issues like financial hardship, the housing shortage and inflation.
For every Wā cup purchased (RRP $49) the cost to a student will be subsidized to $15.
With 100% medical grade silicone, an ethical and zero waste production facility and a lifespan of 10 years, this makes a student’s cost of menstrual products $1.50 per year, compared to an average $100 - $300.
“Our partnerships with Victoria and Massey Universities in Wellington, Massey University campuses in Palmerston North and Albany, and Lincoln University in Canterbury have been key to accessing students directly through associations and campus health services.”
To date Wā Collective has sold 300 cups, saving students $26,000 in menstrual costs per year and preventing 72,000 disposable products from entering our landfills in 2018.
"It's a great initiative tailored to the needs of young people who are struggling financially and juggling a lot. It's a small contribution but makes a huge difference especially in the long run," says a student who participated in a recent survey.
Later this year, Wā Collective are looking to partner with other organisations to bring subsidised cups to a range of vulnerable groups and communities around the country.
“It’s a win-win for our people and our environment,” says Body, who in 2014 lived in India and helped establish initial training for women in rural West Bengal to make their own menstrual products.
As of 08 March 2018, Wā Cups will be stocked in a number of online and physical retailers.
For more information on where to purchase a cup of your own, visit www.wacollective.org.nz