You change a system by creating a new one, by giving people new options and choices, by education and by modeling. What we try to do with the women we promote, whether it’s the businesses we work with or the end users of our product, people that are making conscious choices, is to demonstrate that modeling. -Amanda Wilson, VOXAPOD founder & innovator
What if we told you a small silicone vessel that can fit in your palm has the potential to create massive social and environmental change? Intrigued? Skeptical? Let’s talk about VOXAPOD, our favorite menstrual cup on a mission and a beloved PGF client. Britt, PGF owner/founder, recently caught up with Amanda Wilson, VOXAPOD founder and Yvonne Perez Emerson, VOXAPOD’s packaging designer, to talk all things period and celebrate this very special collaboration.
The VOXAPOD Story
Fed up with traditional modes of period care and the egregious waste they make (in the US 12 billion pads and 7 billion tampons go into our waterways and landfills every year! WTF?!), Amanda Wilson created VOXAPOD to be the most comfortable and highly functional period cup on the market. After seven iterations of VOXAPOD, tested by a focus group over 18 months, and a super successful Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns, VOXAPOD is finally HERE. PGF was thrilled to partner with Amanda to design and manufacture the handy travel pouch that comes with every VOXAPOD. (No more hiding tampons in your sleeve on the way to the public bathroom! We’ve made the travel pouch to be your perfect bathroom stall companion with a flat bottomed base to keep your VOXAPOD clean & safe.)
With her ingenious product Amanda is making us ask some important questions: what toxins are we putting in the most absorbent part of our bodies? How much waste are we personally creating per year? What negative stigmas are we still carrying with us since our little teen selves started to bleed every month? VOXAPOD is not just a period cup, it’s, as Amanda says: “a platform that’s a safe space for women to talk and share their experiences and be heard.” She reminds us that historically periods were treated with mental health drugs and that dark past has “created a stigma in the workplace around what women are capable of. We still have so many taboos tied to our autonomy and we have to slowly break that down.”
As a designer, entrepreneur, and mother to two daughters, Yvonne Perez Emerson has been fighting against these taboos for years, and is a big part of why she wanted to get involved with VOXAPOD. She feels that the cup is liberating because it allows women to be active participants in their wellness routines. “There’s a real need for us to be a part of our wellness, the more we can do that in different parts of our lives, the more connected we become. That’s why when my daughters we were young we had rites of passage parties. I would rather them celebrate this rite than be shamed by their period.”
An integral element of VOXAPOD’s mission is to eradicate menstrual discrimination in the developing world. Amanda was struck by research showing that the lack of healthy period products, and the stigma placed on menstruation, keeps girls in the developing world from attending secondary school. It’s not surprising that girls who do attend secondary school are more likely to have children later, earn higher wages, and put more money back into their community. Amanda knows that educating girls will change the economic and social landscape, allowing these communities to emerge out of poverty. To face this issue head on she has teamed up with Femme International so that every VOXAPOD purchased will help support the period care needs of girls in the developing world.
So, have we convinced you to ditch those tampons and pads for good? We certainly hope so because Amanda knows, “Consumers don’t want the bullshit. They want authentic, they want real, and they want somethings that more progressive and that’s thinking about the next generation.” Or take it from Britt who solo hiked portions of the Pacific Crest Trail two years in a row with her period and a bag of tampons as her only companions—”VOXAPODs are where it’s at!”