Wā Collective is a social enterprise founded by Olie Body and Marie Larking, which provides affordable, accessible and sustainable menstrual products to students right on campuses by pairing with students’ associations. Our purpose is simple, it’s to keep students in class and give them the freedom to live a healthy lifestyle by preventing ‘period poverty’.
Period poverty, you say?
It’s real. In late 2016 we conducted a Wellington based survey which showed that out of 1000 respondents, one in every three menstruating students had skipped class because they didn’t have access to menstrual products. This figure both astounded and saddened us, but really, it motivated us to do something about it.
Cool. So what’s your solution?
Starting with menstrual cups, Wā Collective is working towards offering this service to students in all tertiary institutes nationwide. Students purchase products online from Wā Collective and then collect them from their students’ association. This model keeps costs down, allowing us to get affordable menstrual products to students and making it pretty convenient too. It’s that easy.
It’s all in the ovaries!
You may notice our language. You don’t have to identify as female in order to have a pair of ovaries. Likewise, not all females menstruate. For that reason, we stear clear of Wa Collective being gender based… it’s ovary based instead!
Can you stop saying the word menstruate already?
Nope. Half the planet menstruates. In fact, if it wasn’t for that, not even Auntie Agnes would be able to whisper away the subject, as she wouldn’t be born. We have found that the more we all talk about it, the more normalised periods become. Pete from our office can tell you all about that.
We prefer the term ‘menstrual product’ instead of ‘sanitary item’ for the same reason. The word ‘sanitary’ refers to conditions that affect hygiene and health. When we use ‘sanitary’ in conjunction with menstruation, we indirectly imply that individuals are dirty and unclean, which is why they need a ‘sanitary item’. ‘Sanitary items’ can also encompass items such as soap, toothpaste, shampoo etc. When we use the term ‘menstrual product’ it is clear exactly what we are talking about. It also works at reclaiming the word menstruation from it’s negative connotations, helping to break the taboo further.
We <3 puns
Periods aren’t all that fun, but puns are! We are all about smashing out this bloody taboo with a bit of humour. Don’t mension it.
P.s. Got a great period pun? Flow it on over to firstname.lastname@example.org