Discussing the reality of period poverty in Aotearoa

The founders of The Period Place are hoping their new initiative will help people understand the reality of period poverty in Aotearoa.  

The pop-up store launched last night in central Auckland to coincide with First Thursdays, a vibrant and celebratory event held on Karangahape Road. 

Co-founder Danika Revell says, "We wanted to make sure that all of those people felt that there was a space where people could come, that they can write in books and share their stories, that they can learn about different sustainable products on the market, that they could give us some feedback on the period place and what they would like to see it turn into and where they could learn about period poverty."

It's a place where people are encouraged to feel confident to talk about periods, and for it to not remain a taboo subject. 

Members of The Period Place also aim to educate the community on period health.

Revell says she was overwhelmed by the number of people who turned up at last night's launch. 

"The feedback we had from people was incredible and our three core principals for the business is reduce stigma, and that's by being loud about periods talking about them online using normal words talking about it colloquially like people do and having a safe space which is what we had last night."

She says there are three core principals the group adheres to. These include reducing stigma, talking about periods online using every-day terminology, offering eco-friendly alternative products to use and combating period poverty. 

Those who came together last night shared their own personal experiences on period health, but there was one particular discussion whom Ravell says caught their attention. 

"We had another women right at the very end come in and she was very close to tears looking around and said she'd never seen anything like it. Periods are such a taboo topic in Chinese culture and Asian cultures and that if a woman wears a tampon in China she's considered dirty.

"She said just seeing this [pop-up store] here and how public it is has just been life changing for her in a moment and she wishes something like this could be shown in China."

Revell adds that the ultimate goal is to gain support from the government to rid period poverty in Aotearoa. She also hopes to take this four-day long initiative to other parts of Aotearoa. 

"The reason we said four days for a pop up is because that's the average length that a person has a period for when they're bleeding during a week its four kind of solid days of period blood so that's the marketing tie in there.

"We would love to go on the road with different brands supporting and it becoming much more commercial but we would like to maintain the core information and the core goals of the company and that we would love to have it as a permanent place."