Celia Pool: Creator of Award-winning Period Products – Ep. 51

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Commercially sold tampons and feminine hygiene products are horrible for both your body and for the environment, leeching tons of harmful toxins and contributing greatly to plastic waste.

This “small” issue affects half of the planet, and all of us indirectly, so it’s about time we started to have an open conversation about topics that were stupidly previously taboo.

Celia Pool is the creator/co-founder of DAME, a company revolutionizing period products. Her company is carbon-positive and a certified B-corp.

Celia has received several awards for her groundbreaking, carbon-positive start-up DAME, and she really embodies the spirit of the social entrepreneur.

We had a lovely chat about making this topic less taboo, creating a “risky” company, and going mainstream. 

UNEDITED FULL CONVERSATION:

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EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS:

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1:55 – “We believe that women and the planet deserve better. And that is looking at everything across the range from acceptability of these products, accessibility of these products, and the sustainability of these products.”

3:34 – “And for me, the interest that I had was never around the actual tampon itself. It was more around kind of wider discourse. My baby was a girl, and I was amazed by the fact that the same attitude was still around with tampons, that it was decades before when I first got my period. And I wanted it to change for my daughter.”

5:13 – “100 billion period products that are thrown away every year. And the majority of these are non-recyclable, because they touch the body and they’ve got blood on them. And that’s a huge amount. This is a product which is not a choice. It’s not a coffee cup. It’s not a plastic bag. You know, half the population get their period every month, and this is a really, really important thing that people weren’t really talking about.”

10:58 – “And I think one of the most important things that we realized really early on in our journey was as much as we wanted to do this from a sustainability and health play, we really needed to make sure that the product looked beautiful because at the end of the day, that’s what sells.”

12:09 – “I think the reason why it blew up was because this is the kind of thing that people were looking for. And… we ended up trending on Twitter on day three of our campaign.”

14:41 – “We’ve even actually had a major brand trying to come in behind us as well, which is quite flattering, really, because it means that actually we are predicting and moving the category where it’s going, right? And since then, we’ve gone on to launch in several other quite high profile UK companies such as Sainsbury’s, Waitrose Boots, ASOS and yeah, it’s been incredible to see the trajectory.”

18:23 – “You are the market. You are the way that the market is going. And if you show the market that you want to go and use other things, even in incremental small steps, it starts a ripple effect of the way those big companies are behaving.”

25:27 – “We’ve always thought, Okay, right, if there’s a problem in front of me, someone else out there has had the same problem, maybe in a different guise, but someone else has had the same problem.”

31:14 – “We did a massive assessment of all of our carbon and really… went into the whole detail of all. Our supply chain worked out how much our carbon was, and then we offset it not once, but twice.”

38:24 – “I think they definitely do help recognition. I mean, to be honest, like awards are awards. They’re all quite fluffy at the end of the day. The real proof is in the pudding. And what you’re trying to do in our ultimate aim is to essentially get as many people onto reusables as possible.”

42:17 – “[I want] to get a better balance between family life and work life, but I know that’s not true. I know there is no such thing as balance. One is always going to take priority of the other. So I think there will always be that kind of push and pull because, you know, half of your heart wants to go and look after your three babies and then there’s another baby on the other side.”

45:44 – “But I think the real thing, where this stems from, is just talking about this subject. Talk about it to your friends. Talk about it to your boyfriends, your father, to your sons, to your nephews, to your nieces, whoever it might be. The more we normalize this, the better it will be for everyone. We just need to start treating this bodily function as a normal piece of thing.”

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