Binti began as a social enterprise, headquartered in the UK and working in India to teach women how to sustainably produce their own pads for their communities. However, we’ve come a long way since then. We have evolved organically in response to different needs that we’ve recognised, and have also adapted our approach for different cultural contexts as we’ve widened our global reach.
After setting up projects in India, we realised that there was a need for education, as well as access to pads. Their understanding was that periods were dirty, and meant that they were now grown up. In response, we developed an educational program which we then introduced in India, Africa, and now the U.K. and the U.S. too. We also realised that our projects could be aligned with CSR (corporate social responsibility) programs, and provide projects for organisations looking to work with women and girls.
Through our research and projects, we became increasingly aware of issues around menstruation in the U.K. We soon realised that taboo and stigma persists here, too, and many women and girls experience shame when discussing it. Other issues soon came to light too: using blue liquid instead of red in adverts for menstrual products, giving the impression that blood is dirty or disgusting; lack of access to pads for vulnerable groups such as the homeless, refugees or those in domestic abuse shelters; in fact, the situation here is not so different to that in the developing world. As such, we registered as a U.K. charity.
Today we have volunteers in 12 countries spanning the world from as far as Swaziland to India, Pakistan to Nairobi, Canada and the U.S. to Australia, to the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, the U.K. and Ireland. Our global media platform has been created and developed so that we can share our period stories. The Binti revolution has started: now we can share good, bad, ugly and sad period experiences.