DAME is cleaning up the period industry tampon by tampon! In January this year they launched D, the world’s first reusable tampon applicator, to tackle the 1.3 billion single-use applicators that get thrown away in the UK every year. To date, they have grown a community of amazing customers in over 60 countries, secured nationwide listings in Waitrose and Boots, and saved over 300 million pieces of single use plastic from entering landfill and our oceans. We caught up with the founders to find out more about their products and why we think you should vote for them in the Asquith Adores Awards...
DAME was a menstrual product subscription service in a past life - we delivered a range of high street products to women across the UK. However, after witnessing first-hand the amount of plastic waste generated by these products, we decided the planet and women deserved better. This became our mission. So we turned to our investors and told them that we simply didn’t believe in the products we were delivering and set out to solve a greater problem
Reusable period options, like menstrual cups and reusable pads, have been available for years, but uptake has been slow. We wanted to create a sustainable product that required minimum habit change and maximum comfort, so we decided to take the tampon, a widespread, familiar product, and redesign it.
After two years of careful design, and much tampon pondering, we launched D, the world’s first reusable tampon applicator. We wanted to make it really easy to use, which is why we’ve ensured it fits all standard tampons and has inbuilt self-sanitising technology so it’s really simple to clean. By making the simple switch to a D, a woman saves up to 12,000 disposable applicators over her lifetime. We also launched our own range of organic, biodegradable tampons free from the harsh chemicals and toxins found in conventional tampons.We pride ourselves on making super soft ethical yoga clothes, if your brand had to be remembered for one thing, what would it be and why?
Making women feel good about their periods. For too long, period products have been sold through the language of shame and discretion when menstruation is something normal, natural and quite frankly remarkable. We don’t think it’s fair that women should have to hide their tampons up their sleeves. That’s why at DAME we’re all about open, honest period chat and creating products that women feel proud to own. We’ve swapped the pink bows and flower motifs of the traditional period category for a modern, sleek design aesthetic so we can finally take period products out of the back of the bathroom cupboard, both physically and metaphorically.
We’re really proud to be a certified B Corp brand, which means we meet the highest ethical and environmental standards. It is the only certification out there that measures a business's entire social and environmental impact; you literally open your doors and have all elements of your business scrutinised. It is a rigorous process. But the great thing is that B Corp standards now inform all our decisions and business practices going forward, giving us a brilliant guiding light for how to do business in a better way. For example, we partner with women’s empowerment programmes to make our DAME travel wallets for our applicator, support incredible period poverty initiatives such as Let’s Talk Period, and aim to reduce or reuse materials in every stage of our design process.
The other great thing about being a B Corp is that we’re now part of a club that includes the likes of Patagonia, allbirds and Innocent, brands pushing the boundaries of sustainable business. We’re constantly sharing ideas and information within the B Corp community, helping us keep abreast of the latest trends and innovations and allowing us to learn from trailblazers in the space.If you could share one tip for someone who wants to live more ethically and sustainably in 2019 what would it be and why?
Consumption seems to be the world’s number one hobby. But we think the key to living ethically and sustainably is to make smart choices with the brands you choose to welcome into your life. People used to make things to last and buy less - it’s time we brought that mindset back and took inspiration from our grandmothers! Buy only the things that you genuinely love, take good care of them, fix them rather than throw them away, or swap and share with others.
It sounds mad for a consumer goods business to promote LESS consumption but it really does guide everything we do at DAME - what we make, how we make it, and how we distribute it. That’s why all our packaging is reused where possible, and the rest is from recycled sources. We want to leave this planet in a better state than we found it.
We love everything by Elvis & Kresse - they rescue materials destined for landfill, such as decommissioned fire hoses and transform them into immaculately crafted bags, wallets and accessories. Plus they donate over half of their profits to charity. They’ve been championing sustainability before it became trendy, and they’re a huge inspiration for what we do at DAME.And finally, is there anything you would like to share with our readers?
It’s not a particularly glamorous final thought, but here goes - please don’t throw period products down the loo! It’s estimated that 700,000 panty liners, 2.5 million tampons and 1.4 million sanitary towels are flushed down the toilet every single day in the UK. It’s mind blowing. Many of these end up on our shoreline - sanitary products are now the fifth most common item found on European beaches. So please think of the puffins and turn to your bin instead. DAME tampons are completely biodegradable so will return to nature - you can even compost them in your garden if you so wish.
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