Some of our very good friends Prue Frost and Ash Hipwood have launched Scarlet - super duper awesome and wonderful, sustainable, no BS period gear. We chat to them about their start up story and why what they’re doing is so important.
Congratulations on the launch of Scarlet! Give us the spiel: what’s the gap that you spotted and how are you guys going to fill it?
Thank you! To put it simply - the menstrual cycle is one of the most important things in life, yet it remains a mystery for most of us and it’s not something we all have a positive relationship with. We want to help change that through design and innovation, putting the same emphasis on products for your menstrual cycle as you’d expect from your favourite beauty brands for example. There is a huge opportunity to support the movement towards a more sustainable and enjoyable monthly routine and lots we can do to help change the perception of the category for good.
What did you find was the hardest thing about starting out, and what advice do you have for others who are at the beginning of their start up story?
There are so many things that make starting out hard, the biggest thing for us was juggling full-time work. Regardless of all the barriers you come up against, believing in what you are doing will break down every barrier. For us, believing in the product and the positive impact we can help create made it a lot easier to work through the nights to perfect our products and get them out into the world.
You are offering a bunch of different products - but choice can be overwhelming. How do I know which product is right for me?
We do, and that’s because we understand that everyone is different. What works for your sister or girlfriends may not work for you. You might swear by a cup and never go back to tampons, or you may prefer to alternate between a cup, liners or period underwear. The category is changing quickly, and the fact that we have more choice is a really positive thing, and something we hope will inspire new ways to think about it. Just like you curate products for your everyday beauty routine. We wanted to give people the choice to create a more considered period routine based on what works for them.
The conversation around periods does seem to be changing, but slowly! Why do you think periods have remained taboo for so long?
It’s crazy that periods are still considered ‘taboo’. It’s never really been considered a sexy topic. For years, periods have long been associated with shame and fear, and it’s very different depending on your cultural background. Some people are taught from a young age they have to manage it privately and discreetly. So, it is instilled in us from the very beginning that periods are something that should be hidden, not understood or talked about. This goes with any pain, anxiety or suffering along with it. Putting the spotlight on periods (and better period products) is really important for understanding our overall health and wellbeing.
Lots of our community are mums themselves. What advice or tips do you have on how to talk to our own kids about periods?
A big element is making the conversation normal early on, so there is no embarrassment or shame. We think it's important to make period chat for the entire family normal - empowering dads and brothers to be OK with it too. The more we all know and understand the menstrual cycle, the more we can appreciate and empathise with one another and what our kids are going through and can support them with the decisions they want to make. There are some great resources out there, some of our favourites are:
Yumi Styles ‘My First Period’ a must read for everyone
We love your sustainability message as it’s something we are always working hard on ourselves. Can you tell us a bit about what sustainability means to Scarlet and how you’re delivering that through your products?
Sustainability for us means to be conscious of our impact on the world. So for us, sustainability is about considering the products we design and develop to reduce waste and impact on the planet. It takes between 100 and 200 years to decompose the waste caused by non-biodegradable sanitary pads - which is crazy. We believe if more people reconsidered their monthly impact, it would have big payoffs for the environment. We’re working hard to make it easier for people to consider reusable or opting for organic, biodegradable options as a start.
You’ve launched with The Scarlet Period Cup, Cup Wipes, Organic Cotton Tampon Subscriptions and bold accessories - where to next for Scarlet?
We have some new additions to the range launching very soon! Including our first range of period underwear, which we think will be a game changer for all people with periods. We’re still a new brand, but we have strong idea for where we want to go and how we can support the shift to a more considered period routine.