Best Ideas 2022 features all the nominated entries submitted under ‘Submit your Idea’ category. All the entries consist of innovative solutions or propositions for an enterprise that champions the Sustainable Development Goals. They can be on the conceptual, planning, or start-up stage.
Affordable Environmental Friendly Sanitary Napkins for all Women
Explain your idea in details:
The crux of my project is to make sanitary napkins affordable by all women , keeping in mind the welfare of our environment. Although this is an idea already thought of, many women still don't have access to napkins and those who do use the conventional brands, and rarely do we see the organic or environmental friendly ones in stores. My aim is to spread this across all categories of women. The main objective is to see how to bring eco friendly pads to regular supermarkets and stores. Personally, I feel that an interaction with rural women , as well as talking to someone who is in the industry or who deals in eco friendly products will assist my project. Talking to these women will give me a first hand idea as to their struggles and will widen my horizon as to how to help them. I feel that rural areas should have a pad manufacturing unit, so that it reduces carriage costs. A discussion with a person from the pad manufacturing business will allow me to understand why sanitary napkins are so costly, and why so many women don't have access to them. Out of 40 crore menstruating women in India, less than 20% use sanitary pads and in urban areas , almost half of the women use alternative unhygienic measures. The irony here is that usage of cosmetics is at a booming rate of 65%. A primal target of mine is to research into why there is a stigma attached to menstruation. I think not only women, but an interaction with different classes of men will bring out the reason for this. Conducting workshops in schools and colleges and creating advertisements which talk about the normalcy of periods will propel my idea.
Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development
The objective of my project can be bifurcated into two sustainable development goals: SDG 3, Good Health and well being and SDG 12, Responsible consumption and production. It also has a touch of SDG 6, Clean Water and Sanitation, taking into account the sanitation factor. It will primarily target rural women who do not even have access to pads, and then slowly spread to women all across different sections of society. It will also target the health problems associated with conventional pads. . Sanitary napkins contain Bisphenol A and other chemicals which can slowly cause cancer, and over time affect the reproductive system. The presence of pesticides can directly affect internal organs and the deodorants present can cause infertility. My idea will improve women's health, the environment, enhance overall well being and will ensure equality in access to essential products. It will allow them to purchase pads at cheap prices, without any monetary hesitation or inhibition due to health hazards. The impact of my idea will reach producers and manufacturers as well, and increase their responsibility towards the society. Sustainable production needs to be worked on if we want people to lead healthy lifestyles. Production needs to be carried out in such a way that resources used are less, pollution created is less but the quality of life is enhanced. In order to measure the success of my idea I think surveys should be conducted as to how many people are using these pads , and feedback should be taken regarding the positives, negatives and differences between these pads and the conventional ones. A study should also be done to examine whether there is a reduction in waste; and how even a small number of women using these napkins have brought about a change.
Plans for implementation and sustainability
My first plan for implementation is starting with my friends and family circle; talking to them about it on an informal note and from there spreading it to my school and college. As mentioned earlier, workshops will be conducted, where each girl will be given one pad for free as a trial. I have gotten in touch with Himalayan Hemp, a company which manufactures pads made of hemp with a view to outsource their products and bring it to the mainstream market. I will be further working with them on this and explaining my idea to them in detail. I found other brands such as Saathi and Vivanion, which really stood out to me and I would like to get in touch with them as well. Personally, I think the best business model suited for my project would be a B2C model, i.e a business to consumer model as well as the Bricks and Clicks model. In the former model, products are directly sold to the consumers without the presence of any retailer in between ; which is perfect for an essential like pads which needs to reach consumers as soon as possible. This way, women will be able to procure pads just like they purchase any other commodity. This will allow them to access their basic need with ease; which will directly boost a women's confidence. Many at times, females think twice before stepping out of the house or before participating in any activity solely because of their menstrual cycle. Either they are using an alternative to pads, like a cloth or rag or they are using pads, but are afraid that they will leak. Thus, they will fulfill their need, the environment will be protected and cost will be reduced making it sustainable .
My name is Swaroopa Parthasarathi and I am from India. I am 18 years old, participating in the youth category and am a 1st year law student. I have seen periods being treated as taboo right in front of my eyes, have heard women talk about how expensive pads are, their health hazards and how they wish they wish they could help the environment but don't know how to. The fact that women are struggling to fulfill a basic necessity is really a pitiable sight. It is something as essential as breathing and eating and must be easily accessible and within the reach of females. All of these things built my motivation . My confidence, perseverance, creativity, dedication and hard work will contribute to my success.