Ruby Raut

Posted on 03 October 2020

Ruby Raut is the CEO and founder of WUKA (Wake up Kick Ass) – the UK’s first eco-friendly period underwear brand.

Elliot Moss

Welcome to Jazz Shapers, it’s me Elliot Moss here on Jazz FM.  It’s where the Shapers of Business join the Shapers of Jazz, Soul and Blues. My guest today is Ruby Raut, CEO and Co-Founder of WUKA, the UK’s first eco-friendly period underwear brand.  Having grown up in Nepal where shame about periods is widespread, Ruby says her passion for change stems from experiencing the Chaupaudi tradition in which women are banished during menstruation. “For my very first period, I was sent to my aunt’s house for seven days” she said, “I was put in a room, I wasn’t allowed to see men or go out and play, I was given a bowl.  I was kind of treated like a prisoner.”  During her Environmental Science Degree, Ruby learned that more that 200,000 tonnes of tampons and pads were sent to landfill every year contributing to the mounting disaster of plastic pollution.  Ruby felt a drive to create a new menstrual product that could reduce single use plastic, help to resolve comfort and health risk problems and build positivity around menstruation.  With her Co-Founder and husband, Dave, and with a £7,000 Kickstarter campaign behind them, they launched WUKA which stands for Wake Up Kick Ass in 2018.  Using compostable packaging, fabrics from renewable wood materials and only working with ethical manufacturers, they have already prevented four million disposable sanitary products from going to landfill or into the ocean.  Fantastic you’ve joined us.  Thank you so much. 

Ruby Raut

Thank you so much for having me. 

Elliot Moss

WUKA.  Tell me about WUKA.  I mean, we heard obviously I talked a little bit about the inspiration and your own personal experience but just help me understand from your own perspective what this business is about and what it means to you. 

Ruby Raut

So, WUKA stands for Wake Up Kick Ass and the idea was like not to make women or people who have periods feel ashamed about generally periods and one of the questions that I get often asked is how come you thought about doing period underwear kind of thing and I think it’s more about talking about periods rather than period underwear so, because I am not native to UK, I don’t have many friends or families around here so for me to talk anything open about periods means nobody knows about it, you know, like I am free to say it.  Had this been in Nepal, I might be quite embarrassed and ashamed because I’ve got many people that know me so in a way that actually created this platform for me to speak out loud and proud about periods. 

Elliot Moss

When did you move here?

Ruby Raut

2010. 

Elliot Moss

2010.  So actually…

Ruby Raut

Ten years ago. 

Elliot Moss

Ten years ago so you are 31 now, I hope you don’t mind me saying.  I know you think that’s old but for anyone over the age of 31, might be hurtling towards 50, that sounds very young to me.  So you came here aged 21…

Ruby Raut

21 yes. 

Elliot Moss

…and that point why did you come here?  What was the reason?

Ruby Raut

I think it was escaping from a very abusive relationship.  He did come all the way here as well but finally because I don’t have a social pressure from friends and families to stay in that relationship and that is one of the biggest problem in any Asian community is like everybody is thinking like ‘oh what’s the neighbours going to think about it’, ‘what is this going to think about it’ and you are constantly in that pressure and trying to rework your relationship but coming to the UK gave me like an opportunity to get rid of it because nobody is there to nag me all the time and that’s exactly what happened as well and the other reason was like I think it’s the country of opportunity, right?  So, you come here, try to make a living, make something out of you, that’s the two best reasons I can give you and two best things that has come out. 

Elliot Moss

But you moved from, as I understand it, a world of, I think you were involved in a non-profit organisation campaigning for children’s rights, equalities for girls, I think you ran Food Waste Ninjas, a multi-week project educating staff and students on reducing food waste, this was very much the not for profit sector. 

Ruby Raut

Yes. 

Elliot Moss

Why the leap from not for profit to profit?  And this is, I think the business was established between 2017, 2018. 

Ruby Raut

Yes.  So, I think it all kicked because I did, I couldn’t go to the conventional University because of the funding and stuff so I did Open University, it was an online course, I was doing part-time work at after school clubs, these kind of thing, actually that money was enough to pay for my studies so by the time I did my graduation I didn’t have a single penny as a credit over my head so I could get into work.  I think the inspiration for like social sector is more of my mother’s I think so influence that comes on me, she’s been always an amazing helper in any circumstances to any people that she meets in the street so… but while doing Environmental Science, I put two years such a hard work, it’s very hard Open University, there’s so much determination you have to be on top of everything and at the end what I felt was like, if I put so much time and effort in studying Environmental Science, I want to do something related to that and for a whole year, basically I just was going around doing my fifty coffees, meeting people and asking them to introduce me to other people so that I get to know the industry that they are working in and while doing that I thought that okay I’ll give some of my time as a volunteering kind of thing so I volunteered in Plan International, Women’s Environmental Network, all social sector but one of the things that was quite resounding was like everywhere I go, I was working with like women’s problem, women’s health problem or women’s issue kind of thing so, it was Women’s Environmental Network’s project that was done twenty years ago, twenty years ago they talked about the chemicals in period product but nobody had revisited it again and then I was telling them my story of growing up in Nepal and Chaupaudi and how I feel I am still scarred about it then they said like “oh we have done this project before, would you like to run it again?” so I thought okay, I might run a pilot project in a school and talk to children whether they know about reusable menstrual product because that’s what I grew up using it.  My mum gave me sari rags and said like this is your period product for the rest, ten years kind of thing so when I went to the school in St Albans and only I think one or two people knew about reusable, not many knew about anything and everybody were like slightly disgusted to see the reusable product, you know, and everybody was more comfortable about using tampons and pads but they didn’t know the sheer problem with tampons and pads because they have plastics in them and they end up in landfill, if you look at the lifecycle of a pad it’s a month from the shelves to using it and throwing it kind of thing.    

Elliot Moss

So you are there in 2017/18 and you are talking to young girls about…

Ruby Raut

Reusable menstrual... 

Elliot Moss

…reusable.  At what point did you go ‘hold on a minute I need to do something here?’

Ruby Raut

It wasn’t, you would be surprised, it was actually that day, I thought like hang on a second, like, one of the biggest problem with cloth pads are they move and shift quite a bit and one of the problems that I had growing up was, you can’t do sports because a) I think I never wore fitted underwear because you used to get only like one size underwear and whenever you are doing sports the pads literally fall down, it was nothing attached to it so while I was talking to the girls and I was like I could actually stitch this pad in the underwear and make it one as an underwear.  So, literally on my way back home, I went to a second hand sewing machine and I bought a sewing machine which I never ever had used, went to YouTube, started to learn how to thread and I just took my husband’s old t-shirt and made my first underwear.  It’s just like bonkers, I was just so, you know, geared up, ready to do something.  It was like quite a while since I didn’t have a job but then I did Food Waste Ninja and that gave me actually a hope that if I have such a brilliant idea and if I pitch to somebody, I will get some funding and that’s what happens. 

Elliot Moss

So this is, so from that day so the day when you actually launched the website and you had product.  How long was that period?

Ruby Raut

Nine months. 

Elliot Moss

Which is pretty fast. 

Ruby Raut

Yes. 

Elliot Moss

And in terms of then product design and materials and all the health stuff you have to do, that’s a process isn’t it?

Ruby Raut

It is.  It is, and I think that was the maximum time we spent on.  We know that the period underwear works.  What I did was like I went to the M&S, got their old like granny pants kind of thing, cut it in, put a pad, sew in myself and then I had like five pair of them which I made personally myself and I wore it for the next three/four months just to try it to see whether it works or not and once we know that, okay the underwear works, it’s comfortable, you can wear it, wash it, dry it kind of thing, the next tackle was the absorbent fabric because we had to find something that was super absorbent, doesn’t leak and also the leakproof layer.  So the leakproof layer was quite easy because you get in reusable nappies, this is the same fabric that is used but slightly lower GSM, like the thinner one but the absorbent fabric, after doing I think it took three months of research trying to find the best absorbent fabric that is washable, machine washable, because one of the many questions that we used to get from people was like “I don’t want to wash it with my hands, I don’t want to see the blood” kind of thing. 

Elliot Moss

Yes. 

Ruby Raut

Icky kind of feeling.  So we thought okay, if we make an underwear, it has to be machine washable because that helps people transit into using reusable underwear more easily. 

Elliot Moss

And just so I am clear on the money that you then had, you had the Kickstarter campaign.  Is this then going on at this time to then fund some of the research or was that later down the line?  So this is all off your own back?

Ruby Raut

Yes. 

Elliot Moss

Okay. 

Ruby Raut

All the research, everything we did all by ourself.  I used to run a vegan pop up kitchen at that time so every Friday or something I used to ask people in social media if they wanted to come and eat food and I used to hire this kitchen and then that’s how I make a little bit money so that I could fund my… so I was like quite a hustler, you know.  I wanted, I put my hands and legs into everything. 

Elliot Moss

Everything.  Well, listen, I mean, and by the way I think you won Best New Business at Best Business Women’s Award 2019, you’ve won a few other awards as well over the time, I think NatWest have recognised you as well as entrepreneur, I mean it’s not surprising so the message is, you’ve got to hustle. Stay with me for much more from Ruby Raut, my Business Shaper, Founder of WUKA, that’s Wake Up Kick Ass and you are going to be hearing a lot more from her shortly.  Right now we are going to hear a taster from the Mishcon Academy Digital Sessions, they can be found on all of the major podcast platforms.  Mishcon Purpose is a new sustainability business advising clients on environmental, social and governance or ESG issues, very topical right now of course.  Alexander Rose, Head of Mishcon Purpose explores how businesses are responding to Covid-19 and the importance that social value will play in success in the post-Covid-19 crisis world.  And you may just recognise the man who is asking the questions. 

You can enjoy all our former Jazz Shapers and hear this very programme again with Ruby by popping Jazz Shapers into your podcast platform of your choice or if you have a smart speaker, and I do have one it’s very useful too, you can ask it to play Jazz Shapers and there you will find many of our recent shows.  But back to today’s guest, it’s Ruby Raut, CEO and Co-Founder, in fact I have said Founder before but of course Dave Slocombe, your husband, is also your Co-Founder too.  She is CEO and Co-Founder of WUKA, the UK’s first eco-friendly period underwear brand.  So, I’ve got this vision Ruby that if you want to make something happen, it’s going to happen. 

Ruby Raut

Yes. 

Elliot Moss

You know, ten years ago you want to move because you need space and you do.  Here we are now in 2020, your business has been going a few years.  If you go onto the website you will see it looks fabulous, there’s an aesthetic feel to it, you’ve got a variety of models in there which I really like, you know, interesting looking, normal, women, you haven’t got this vision of this view of beauty and as a father with two daughter, and two sons, it’s very important to me that there is a realistic view of women, obviously.  But this hustling, this sense of making your own buck, help me understand where that came from, that self-realisation that you had to make your own way.  How young were you when you realised it’s about whether I do this or not for me?

Ruby Raut

I think I’ve been quite a hustler since very young.  My first ever job was when I was eleven year old and our house was under construction and one of the workers didn’t show up so I said ‘Mum can I do the same thing that they are doing’, that was carrying the sand on your head kind of thing and she actually honoured that and then paid me exactly what she would have paid the person kind of thing and I worked eight hours so it’s I think the drive and the determination that is something that I have had since very young, I am very competitive which I love it because.

Elliot Moss

She’s smiling a lot now.  She’s saying it and she’s like ‘I’m very competitive, I will kill anybody I need to’, this is ‘I am powerful’. 

Ruby Raut

Its, yeah, and not every day you get that sense of being strong and powerful and competitive.  There are other side to me as well, there are days when I just want like oh nothing’s working kind of thing. 

Elliot Moss

Of course.  You are human, that is completely normal, we all feel the same.   

Ruby Raut

Exactly, yeah.  And this is something that I sometimes tell in my story on Instagram it’s like I am normal, it’s a small business, just take a little bit of ease or give us some room to work around your orders or anything kind of thing. 

Elliot Moss

It’s sometimes the only thing people need to hear isn’t it, look we’re going to make mistakes here, I’m going to do my best but please, we’re not perfect, we’re just trying to do something. 

Ruby Raut

Exactly.

Elliot Moss

But in this country and in the West, especially in the last few years, we’ve had a sort of a diversity of waking if you like, there’s a generation now where we’ve been pushing very hard for women’s rights and it may be for black rights and it may be for a whole bunch of different groups of people that have historically until very recently indeed right now have not been treated equally.  As a woman from Asia, from where you are from, from Nepal, from India, that’s been real and much more extreme. 

Ruby Raut

It is tough and that is I think another thing that I was determined to make something.  When I first came here, I didn’t even speak English properly so for me this ten years has been like how can I mould myself into the culture that I live in and thrive in it?  And that was my main goal, like, how can I be better all the time and this is another thing, I was like how can I do things better, how can I learn things better and this is every day you have to just push yourself and just do it. 

Elliot Moss

Have you felt though because of your gender, here in the UK, that you have had a disadvantage?

Ruby Raut

Absolutely.  Absolutely because, as I said, I graduated and for a year I interviewed so many places and I didn’t get a job anywhere so then I realised, you know what, if nobody gives me the job, I’ll make the job for myself and that’s the Food Waste Ninja and I pitched it to Sainsbury’s, got £35,000 to run this project and then I hired another two women to work with me and during that time the whole WUKA was coming up as well and, again, it just gave me that boost like, you know, believe in yourself, many times you just have to start and go and do it.  You don’t need so much money for research, as I said, like right, everything that I did the research was back off my own money and with £7,000, I mean it’s bonkers now when I have started business and now fully running kind of thing, £7,000 is nothing but at that time it was like the world to me and my first order was 2,500 underwear and today I have got nearly 40,000 underwear coming so, that’s, it’s huge but just to keep on going, don’t get put off by it because you need more money kind of thing, there are many things that you can do in small bite chunks.    

Elliot Moss

Elliot Moss

The team you have assembled round you, how many people work in WUKA?

Ruby Raut

At the moment we are four.    

Elliot Moss

Okay.

Ruby Raut

And that has just started two weeks ago.  Before then, we were two. 

Elliot Moss

So you’ve doubled, I mean this is big stuff.  And your husband is now full-time in the business?

Ruby Raut

Working with me, full-time, yes. 

Elliot Moss

Obviously we have been in lockdown so have you been sitting separately or are you now all together when you can be?  How does it work?

Ruby Raut

Because he’s only started last week, well, this week. 

Elliot Moss

Well, you obviously live together I am assuming. 

Ruby Raut

Yes, we live together. 

Elliot Moss

That’s a good relationship.  Well done.  Husband and wife post-lockdown, still living together.  Not to be sniffed at either. 

Ruby Raut

Oh yeah, I mean, our every conversation, every meal that we eat, everything that we do, it’s all about pants and what’s happening next kind of thing.  It’s a very normal conversation to have.  It’s been okay actually.  I think two weeks ago he finished his job and it was quite intense for him to at least hand over everything and do that but we managed to get two weeks’ break, well one week break, we went to Scotland but I think that period was very hard for us, we couldn’t switch off, well I couldn’t switch off. 

Elliot Moss

I think everyone’s found that haven’t they?  Switching off is the hardest thing to do when there’s some much ambiguity, uncertainty. 

Ruby Raut

Absolutely, yes. 

Elliot Moss

And your team though, are they, is it an all women team apart from David?

Ruby Raut

Yes.

Elliot Moss

Okay.  And is that intentional or has it just happened?

Ruby Raut

No, it just happened.  We do have a designer who is on like a freelance basis and he is a guy and it’s quite interesting because we get different perspective like what I can see, the other people might not see it kind of thing, or what they can see, it’s nice to see that collaborative kind of work coming together.  No, we hire people based on their skills more than anything else and obviously give some priority to women because women tend to think that they have to be perfect on so many levels, but you don’t, many times I just learn things on the job and if anybody is coming who has got base general ideas, I’m sort of like, just join in, you know like you will learn so many things just on the job. 

Elliot Moss

And sales are growing?

Ruby Raut

Yes.

Elliot Moss

Significantly I can imagine? 

Ruby Raut

Significantly.  Lockdown means, I think many people like giving it a go because they are at home, it’s easy for them to try new things, reusables, they don’t have to go to shop so, yes.  We also managed to make into quite a few supermarkets now so you can buy us in Sainsbury’s, Planet Organic, Wholefoods, Ocado, soon another health and beauty shop coming soon. 

Elliot Moss

And have you enjoyed reaching out and then having to connect and sell your product in?  Do you find that very easy?  Is that a joyful part of the business for you?

Ruby Raut

Yes, I love talking to people and I think is my strongest area, it’s like, I think I show more empathy talking to like business and I am telling them with all that enthusiasm and energy like why our product is good, how can they reach out more customer through our product and I think that is something that they don’t see, they have got like very narrow focus, it’s only for women kind of thing but once you have put it on the shelf, most of the women buy it for the children because they want that comfort, they want that stress-free kind of… for their children more than themself and as a parent you always tend to do better for your children than for yourself. 

Elliot Moss

And it strikes me also absolutely that your… it’s a values driven purchase because on two levels, one environmentally it’s obviously great but the other one is the destigmatisation if you like of when you are a young girl or anyone having a period.  There’s also another thing about your brand which I like is the campaigning aspect, there’s a petition that you’ve got 10,000 people behind it now basically saying that your product shouldn’t be taxed, shouldn’t have VAT put onto it in the same way that other period products are not taxed in that way. 

Ruby Raut

So the Government announced that they will be taking out any VAT from January 2021 on pads and tampons.  Obviously they create huge amounts of pollution, they are made of plastic, takes a longer time to degrade but they are taxing us at 20% luxury so, this automatically as a business doesn’t affect us but as a consumer, customers are paying 20% more to our product than disposable.  I think the Government should be incentivising sustainable business, reusable business more and taking that VAT down and that’s a no brainer kind of thing like how can a sustainable business be taxed more than disposable?  You know, you are, as a country you are trying to reap the sustainable goals and try to be as environmentally friendly as possible but then taxing every person who buys a period underwear 20% is not the way to go. 

Elliot Moss

Sounds like a no brainer.  If you are Minister listening and you’ve got responsibility, do the right thing. 

Ruby Raut

Yes.

Elliot Moss

Stay with me for our final chat with Ruby Raut don’t go anywhere. 

I’ve got Ruby Raut with me just for a few more minutes here on Jazz Shapers, she’s the Co-Founder and CEO of WUKA and we’ve been talking all about all sorts of related environmental and women’s issues I guess and what you are trying to do with the business.  As I mentioned at the beginning, we talked about, you made that move from the social impact world to the commercial world because it sounded, I think you felt that that would make the biggest impact.  Do you think that’s right?  Are you pleased that you have gone this route?

Ruby Raut

Actually, with WUKA we do socially impact as well.

Elliot Moss

Of course you do.  I mean that’s within, it’s so fundamental to the DNA of the business. 

Ruby Raut

Absolutely.

Elliot Moss

But to go into the full profit world, was that right for you as a person? 

Ruby Raut

Yes.  I think for me it was like the, almost like a challenge.  Can I make it to the business world and what does it mean to have a sustainable ethical business that does good to not just one sector, it’s good for health, it’s good for environment, it’s good for people, you know, it’s a very whole business, like it tackles so many issues and I think that was the most important thing was like if I did anything, any business, I want it to be helping people as well as, yeah, making money is part of business so…

Elliot Moss

But solving problems to me sounds like something you are really good at too.  Do you think that’s because you’re not from here, as you said, in other words you are kind of the outsider and the outsider can go ‘but why is it like that?.  Surely it doesn’t have to be?’  Has that been part of your approach?

Ruby Raut

Yeah.  So, it’s like whenever you go to a different country and then you see like so many things that have got problem and why haven’t they done that thing?  So for me when I started the WUKA and as I said like why now kind of thing?  People ask me and it’s like because I see it from a different perspective to people here in the UK.  They still hush hush, hiding your tampons up the sleeve kind of culture in Western culture because periods are often seen as dirty and that has been quite resonating even in my country as well but at least here I can openly talk about it without being embarrassed or ashamed about it.

Elliot Moss

Do they talk about you back in Nepal though?  Does the family sort of say, I am so proud of my Ruby or do they got, ‘ooh, don’t talk about Ruby’. 

Ruby Raut

I, I mean, I am called the underwear girl now in my home town which is quite nice but they recently did a huge feature on me as a cover girl and the entire magazine kind of thing and I think when that published, my Dad actually called me and then he started crying.  He thought that… he’s very proud of me and I think now he goes around saying like one in a million daughter kind of thing. 

Elliot Moss

Amazing. 

Ruby Raut

Because I grew up in a household where we were all daughters so socially they were always quite pressured by like ‘why don’t you have a son’ kind of thing and now he is very proud and goes around saying that…

Elliot Moss

That’s fantastic but in terms of… do you ever talk with your parents or with anyone else about the... I’m going to say it wrong, the Chaupaudi…

Ruby Raut

Chaupaudi, yes. 

Elliot Moss

…Chaupaudi tradition?  Because obviously, does that still go on in Nepal?

Ruby Raut

Yes it does.  And, yes, in my family…

Elliot Moss

And do you say, how could you think that was okay?  Do you say that or is that too hard to say?

Ruby Raut

I think more these days, what I say is like if you see anybody like segregating themself, just go and talk to them and say like this is not okay and your daughter should be respected and she’s exactly the same as a son.  Periods are absolutely normal and in fact my niece when she had her first period, rather than doing all sorts of this, that Chaupaudi thing, I actually went there to celebrate and we had a party.  A period party kind of thing.  And that was quite well received by friends, families who came to the thing and now it has become almost like a tradition that every daughter when they come to the age of 11, 12 years old, they throw like a party, welcome to being woman kind of thing so I think it’s changing the negative perspective to the positive, how can we make the whole experience more embracing for both parents as well as children. 

Elliot Moss

And obviously that’s the most important thing about all of the things you are doing but I must ask you about the money.  Does it… obviously you want to make money to be able effect change?

Ruby Raut

Yes.

Elliot Moss

Do you also want to make money just because that’s a nice thing to do or are you not so bothered?  Is that just a pleasant outcome if it happens to be that WUKA goes global?

Ruby Raut

No.  No, money is a driving thing, it’s like I always have this target every day like I have to reach this target of, then I can make, for me it’s like how can I make WUKA more affordable?  So the more people buy it, the more order I place and then the less pricey it becomes and the less price I can start with so I started at £29.99 the underwear, within a year we reduced it to £24 now and if the VAT goes we have promised to all of our customer that we will reflect the price, the reduced VAT rate on our underwear so, they get another £4 cheaper, you know, so for me it’s like how can my product reach out to every girl in the world and they have the most comfortable period and they don’t have to think or worry about anything else, plus it does benefit to the environment.  So I think that is the main goal. 

Elliot Moss

There’s a big tick going right up from bottom left to top right, right now, it all sounds amazing.  Listen, I have loved chatting to you.  It’s a real privilege to meet you actually and…

Ruby Raut

It’s been lovely, yeah, telling the whole story. 

Elliot Moss

No, it’s great and your Dad is right to be proud and I am really pleased that he is obviously that and I am not surprised either.  Just before I let you go, what’s your song choice and why have you chosen it?

Ruby Raut

Well, I have chosen Buena Vista Social Club Chan Chan.  This is like a very relaxed holiday kind of mood song but also whenever I am working at home like I have this background music and it’s quite nice and then sometimes I put the lyrics on and then sing with it despite I don’t know any Spanish but try my best, but yeah, it’s a very nice song, definitely must have. 

Elliot Moss

That was the song choice of my Business Shaper, Ruby Raut.  She talked about changing the negative to the positive, underpinning everything she does is all about changing the dialogue and the conversation around periods.  She’s values driven, the importance not just of resolving the period issue with women but also the environmental impacts and being positive.  And finally, and simply put as she said, you’ve just got to hustle, this is all about finding enough money, doing things in small bites and making it happen and solving problems.  Great stuff.  That’s it from me and Jazz Shapers, have a lovely weekend.

Ruby is disrupting a staid feminine hygiene market with UK designed eco-friendly period underwear that completely replaces tampons and pads. Her passion stems from growing up in Nepal where she experienced a form of Chapaudi in which women are banished during menstruation.

During her degree in Environmental Science, Ruby learnt that more than 200,000 tonnes of tampons/pads were sent to landfill every year contributing to the mounting disaster of plastic pollution, and this led her to create a new menstrual product reducing single use plastic, helping to resolve comfort and health risk problems, and build positivity around menstruation.

Ruby was included in 2019 ‘Top 100 Women in Fem Tech’ global list, and is currently challenging the UK Government to recognise WUKA as a menstrual product.

Highlights

The idea was make to women or people who have periods not feel ashamed.

I am not a UK native so I don’t have many friends or family here, so for me to talk openly about periods meant nobody knew about it.

Coming to the UK gave me an opportunity to get rid of [the pressure] as nobody was here to nag me all the time.

The inspiration for the social sector is my mother’s influence.

I put so much time and effort in studying Environmental Science, I wanted to do something related to that.

Everyone was more comfortable with using tampons and pads, but they didn’t know the sheer problem [due to the amount] of plastic they have in them which end up in a landfill.

If you look at the lifecycle of a pad, it’s a month from the shelf, to using it, and then throwing it away.

I was a hustler.

I've had determination and drive from a very young age.

When I first came here I couldn't speak English properly, so the past ten years have been about how can I mould myself into the culture that I live and thrive in.

[I questioned] how can I be better, do things better and learn things better.

Every conversation, every meal that we eat, everything that we do, it’s all about pants.

We hire people based on their skills more than anything else.

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