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Let's Talk Menstrual Cups

Welcome to our first Moraka Menstrual Cups blog post. Our Moraka blog will be your go-to period product guide or how and ultimately why you could switch to a zero-waste and money-saving menstrual cup.

We firstly just want to acknowledge that not all women have periods and not everyone with a period is a woman, no matter your menstrual status we see, respect and validate you

The health, wellbeing and equity of menstruators are vital to our world. In these changing times, people are asserting their views on global issues such as period poverty, and fair access to period products. Being a feminist and global thinker, I Shuari Naidoo used the opportunity to develop my business Moraka Menstrual Cups to address these issues.

Menstrual Cups are small bell sized period products that hold the blood rather than absorb it. Menstrual Cups are reusable. Moraka Menstrual Cups last ten years, saving the environment from an unnecessary 5000 tonnes of disposable product landfill. The average menstruator uses 11,000 tampons in their lifetime. Furthermore 90% of period product packaging in nonrecyclable contributing to pollution in lthe ocean and in our waterways Menstrual Cups also save the monthly cost of sanitary products. It is estimated that using a menstrual cup for ten years could save you approximately $3,600 to $4,800 in disposable sanitary products over that time. Menstrual Cups are compact, easy to use, hold more flow than pads and tampons and only need changing about every 4-8 hours (depending on the heaviness of flow). The price of a menstrual cup ranges from $30-90. Moraka Menstrual Cup’s mission is to sell cost effective and sustainable products that are affordable at only $20 a cup.

I’m also passionate about ending period poverty & addressing the societal stigma of periods. Period Poverty is a serious issue in New Zealand. According to Kidscan, 1 in every 2 Kiwi menstruators have suffered from Period Poverty. Periods are a normal bodily function and are not disgusting. The way in which periods are perceived influences the kind of products that are available for people. Periods are often spoken in hushed voices as it is a ‘woman’s’ issue. As a result, people are less likely to have open conversations about issues pertinent to periods such as products to manage periods or the lack thereof.

The stigma surrounding periods has a very disturbing consequence- period poverty. People who can’t afford disposable sanitary products may use other unsuitable alternatives such as socks, plastic bags or even bleed through their clothes. People who can’t afford basic period products to adequately manage their periods may miss out on their education and other important life opportunities. No person should ever have to go without the basics or miss out due to a normal bodily function. Period poverty represents gender inequity and highlights elitism in our society. I hope that by running a menstrual cup business I have created a platform for education around both menstrual cups and ending the stigma of periods in society.

When I mention menstrual cups, people are often confused, intrigued or even excited about this innovative product. In the last year running my student business under the Young Enterprise Scheme, I have seen a shift in how reusable period products are perceived. Menstrual cups and reusable undies and pads are becoming more mainstream and slightly less taboo. I now find myself spending less time explaining what menstrual cups are and more time talking about the benefits and uses of menstrual cups. I think people are becoming much more open to the idea of trying something different.

How can menstrual cups become more popular? Spread the word and normalize both menstrual cups and periods in society. In order for menstrual cups to become more mainstream, we need to destigmatize periods. People need to know about menstrual cups before the idea is cemented in their minds. A social media post or just a mention in a conversation can make such a difference for people who are struggling with disposable period products or want to try something different. My small student business ‘Moraka’ Menstrual Cups means freedom of body and expression. This is how I want people to feel when they use a menstrual cup.

We hope that by being on our website you are curious about menstrual cups, gender equality and ending period poverty. Moraka hopes we are your first (or last) stop on your period journey to trying a Moraka cup. Join us on our period revolution.

Shuari Naidoo

Keywords: Health and Wellbeing, Sustainability, Periods, Menstrual Cups, Menstruation, Social enterprise.

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