Dignity and Ngātahi partner for period equity
Dignity was founded on a mission to create a world of period equity. Using a 'Buy-one, Give-one' model, the founders set out to provide period products for those without access across New Zealand.
Years of work came to fruition last year when Dignity's co-founder, Jacinta Gulasekharam, led the Positive Periods petition to advocate for free period products in schools and consulted with New Zealand's Prime Minister on the rollout of a nation-wide program. Shortly after, the government announced that students in Aotearoa would have access to free sanitary products - thanks to the advocacy and awareness driven by Dignity and its partners. Over almost four years, Dignity provided over 33,000 boxes of organic tampons and pads, 378 menstrual cups, and 1,203 pairs of AWWA period underwear to these schools, youth and community groups.
Amidst all of the excitement, Dignity had been impacted by COVID-19 lockdowns and transitions to remote work. Many of their corporate partners reduced their orders or stopped them altogether, and the Buy-one, Give-one initiative struggled to meet the demand as a result. The team quickly realised they needed to develop more revenue streams to continue to provide period products for people without access, particularly with the impact of the pandemic on their communities.
Thanks to the Regional Business Partner Network COVID-19 Support Fund, Dignity received funding to reassess how they could sustainably generate funds. They chose to partner with Hannah McKnight from Ngātahi Communications - a fellow B Corp - to build the foundations for Dignity's marketing and communications strategy.
"We wanted to work with Hannah as she was another Certified B Corporation with specialist expertise in impact-driven business," said Dignity's General Manager Anika Speedy. "As an impact business ourselves, it is vital for Dignity to be transparent about how we make a difference. We felt Hannah’s values aligned with ours and she had the experience and skills to help us grow."
Working with Hannah, the Dignity team reaffirmed their vision: “Period equity in Aotearoa: no one misses out on opportunities simply because they have their period." They formalised new brand guidelines and a 12-month plan to ensure they could continue to grow and deliver period equity.
The partnership also led to a plan to launch Give One Two Three gifting options for individuals and businesses to make one-off or regular contributions to Dignity. This includes reusable products like Oi Menstrual Cups and AWWA period-proof underwear.
"Since launching Give One Two Three in September, they have gifted 445 boxes of Oi period products, 149 Oi menstrual cups and 42 pairs of AWWA period-proof underwear," said Anika. "We are very grateful for all the support we have received from individuals helping us to deliver period equity."
Period poverty affects thousands of New Zealanders every year. This number is set to grow as the COVID-19 pandemic creates further financial, education, and career inequities. Dignity plans to continue supporting, advocating, and providing a choice of period products to those without access.