Zoe Sugg, Maisie Williams and Adwoa Aboah launch ‘period bags’ with WaterAid to help tackle stigma

Sugg hopes the collaboration will help women ‘own their flow with dignity’

Sarah Young
Wednesday 21 October 2020 11:00
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Labour MP Danielle Rowley addresses period poverty in Commons

Vlogger Zoe Sugg, actor Maisie Williams and activist Adwoa Aboah, have designed a range of limited-edition period bags.

The stars are supporting WaterAid’s campaign to encourage people to talk more openly about periods and help tackle stigma and taboos, while raising money to support people around the world to manage their periods safely and with dignity.

According to WaterAid, around 300 million people menstruate on any given day, but for many their period can bring shame and isolation with some communities believing that periods are a curse. 

Similarly, one in four people globally have no access to decent toilets, depriving them of their human right to sanitation, and a private space to manage periods hygienically and safely.

These taboos and stigma exist in the UK too. New research conducted by the charity found that less than two in five Brits (37 per cent) feel comfortable talking about periods, while two thirds (65 per cent) say they feel too uncomfortable to openly carry their period products to the toilet in public.

Through this new collaboration, WaterAid hopes to encourage more people to be “loud and proud” about their period by sporting one of the new, stylish period bags.

Each bag costs £13, is made using sustainable cotton and features a bold slogan such as “feeling bloody brilliant” and “own your flow”. The period bags are designed to contain period products and fit neatly into handbags.

Zoe Sugg, who designed a celestial-themed black and white bag with the slogan “own your flow”, said:

“I’m so proud to be working with Fempowered to bring more attention to the many girls around the world who have to miss school due to a lack of decent toilets or who drop out entirely.

“A period should never be something that holds anyone back and I hope the design we’ve worked on with WaterAid helps you own your own flow with dignity.”

Actor Maisie Williams collaborated with a designer from her creative social network Daisie to create her abstract design, which features a womb, hands and the slogan “feeling bloody brilliant”.

The Game of Thrones star said she wants to help girls feel “period proud” and to “make life fairer for girls everywhere”.

The final bag comes from Adwoa Aboah and US-based graphic designer Lex Blair, who won a competition hosted through Gurls Talk, the community-led organisation the model founded to support adolescent girls and young women.

The winning artwork features a fun scene of women surfing crimson waves, reminding us that periods are nothing to be embarrassed about.

“No girl deserves to feel embarrassed about her period. It’s only blood,” Aboah said.

“That’s why I’m fighting this discrimination with WaterAid. The proceeds from the limited-edition period bags will help women around the world manage their periods safely. Dignity shouldn’t be optional.”

Sales from the launch will help to tackle the inequalities surrounding period poverty and stigma.

They can be purchased online via Fempowered, WaterAid’s monthly subscription service.

To buy yours and to find out more about Fempowered’s sustainable period products that give back, visit www.fempowered.me/celebdesigns.

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