5 Pillars of 'Off Period Poverty' Program

For 'adaptability' of menstrual products [Rural]

1. Product Usability

The end consumer should have the power to choose the menstrual products they wish to use, and accordingly, Onpery® is working toward offering the entire range of sustainable menstrual products, with better ergonomics, usability and comfort, to the beneficiary profile.

The Onpery® team upon doing multiple pilots and interactions with the communities (consisting of financially underprivileged menstruators), concluded the set of reusable absorbent underwear & (reusable/disposable) (certified) cloth napkins to be the most holistically preferable and suitable products for and by the said beneficiary profile, in the current scenario.

The Onpery® team identified (first entity in India to identify) that the below-mentioned values are required (for the said beneficiary profile) in the mentioned products and hence added the values in the Onpery's product line.

Value-addition in reusable absorbent underwear:

  • Detachable (and attachable) waistband, for easy wearability and replacement.
  • Size-adjustable waistband.

Value-addition in (reusable/disposable) cloth napkins:

  • Anti-shifting design of napkins, leading to resistance in crumbling and resistance in leakage.
  • Disposable plastics-led menstrual products are harmful to the environment and health.
  • Disposable (partial) biodegradable-compostable menstrual products are not affordable.
  • Reusable internal menstrual products have a long learning curve (due to tough behavioral change), and have many myths, taboos, and misconceptions associated. Further, it needs to be maintained and managed appropriately.

2. Awareness

The mentioned products (reusable absorbent underwear and (reusable/disposable) (certified) cloth napkins) require negligible behavioral changes (and minimal awareness), as almost every beneficiary profile has been using (purchasing, washing, wearing, drying, and storing) underwear and using/aware of (uncertified) cloth napkins.

The Onpery® team has been coming up with the following formats/assets regarding awareness of menstrual health management, including menstrual products; with consumption/engagement-led criteria of ‘free’ and ‘mass/scale’:

  • Free online awareness videos, in multiple local languages.
  • Free online/digital awareness manuals/leaflets/graphic-novels, in multiple local languages.
  • Free printed product usage leaflets/graphic-novels, in local languages, given in/along the product package.
  • Free online and telephonic consultation.

A typically-practiced offline singular or limited number of uncertain awareness sessions are not completely helpful to the said beneficiary profile. 

  • A lot of uncertainty and no assurity of occurrence of sessions.
  • Usually a singular or limited number of sessions are conducted.
  • Attendees are not able to completely retain and revisit the communicated information.
  • Sessions are driven by the organizers-sponsors (and are not centric to the attendees).

3. Affordability

Ideally, the products should be affordable to the said beneficiary profile such that they should be efficient to completely purchase the menstrual products they wish to choose. Accordingly, there have to be multiple regional certified in-house production units of the mentioned products, which Onpery® teams aim to establish in coming years.

1. The Onpery® team has redesigned and filed a utility patent on reusable absorbent (period) underwear, as per the situation (product-market-fit) of the said beneficiary profile, to bring the product cost down. The said design technology is being aimed to be produced by Onpery® at their in-house production facility soon.

2. The Onpery® team understood that (if or until the said beneficiary profile is not able to completely afford the products), a ‘community adoption model’ by sponsors/donors/partners is the only sustainable approach.

2.1. Onpery® donates 2.8% of net profit from every product sale, on an annual basis, toward the proprietary program dedicated to reducing period poverty.

2.2. The Onpery® team came up with ‘Buy 1, Subsidize1 - Pack’ on selective packages.

Onpery® on their brand website (www.onpery.com) offers an option to their customers to purchase a special pack of ‘Buy 1, Subsidize 1 - Pack’ (other than an 'individual pack'), in which 1 unit is shipped to the customer (buyer/donor), and 1 unit is shipped/donated to an exclusive social outreach partner (Oneform Foundation (OfF)).

Oneform Foundation (OfF) adopts communities consisting of financially underprivileged menstruators, and sustainable menstrual products are made accessible at a subsidized price at a local centre.

  • Unaffordability
  • No assurity of regular supply/sponsorship of products.
  • Irregularities and mismatches of demand and supply of the product options/preferences and their stock.
  • Product supply/sponsorship is driven by the organizers-sponsors (and is not centric to the potential beneficiaries).

4. Accessibility

Ideally, the products should be available in local shops/medical-stores/centers of the community, through a combination of local, regional, and national distributors, from where they can purchase the product(s).

Onpery®’s social outreach partner (Oneform Foundation (OfF)), appoints/engage with a local shop/group/medical-center to be an ‘informal local distributor’ of the products. The Oneform Foundation (OfF) ships the products to the local shop/group/medical-center and they further sell/distribute the products at a subsidized price to the said beneficiary profile.

  • No establishment of source/location of collection of product.
  • Usually a singular or limited number of distribution drives are conducted.
  • Product distribution is driven by the organisers-sponsors (and are not centric to the potential beneficiaries).

5. Disposability

To make a meaningful impact, the waste need to be collected and disposed of (incinerated or buried) by government (municipal) bodies.

(Any private entity doing collection and disposal of the same is having its limitation and is largely ineffective.)

The waste can be dumbed into waste/garbage bins at medical clinics/centers, from where it will be managed as medical waste.

The menstrual products that have the majority materials as organic materials - can be buried/composted in community/personal waste pits.