Two Rags

Two Rags

Sydney, IndiaSydney, Australia
Year Founded:
2013
Organization type: 
hybrid
Project Stage:
Start-Up
Budget: 
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

300 million women in India lack access to hygienic sanitary supplies to effectively manage their periods.

Two Rags creates and sells ethical underwear, and for every underwear sold, we give an eco-friendly cloth sanitary kit to a woman or girl in need.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Unfortunately, menstruation is not something that's often addressed or discussed. But the reality is that 300 million Indian women lack the means or access to purchase disposable sanitary pads. Instead, they use old rags to manage their period which can lead to problems in feminine health and hygiene, education (drop outs/absenteeism) and social equality.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Two Rags is founded as a social enterprise with a twofold mission. 1. Make awesome underwear with the help of ethical organisations. We partner up with ethical Indian organisations/cooperatives that employ disadvantaged groups to sew our products. These include the urban or rural poor or the deaf. Sustainable, fair employment of disadvantaged groups is one way we help to improve their livelihood. 2. Improve feminine hygiene and sanitation. Built into the cost of every underwear sale, we give a kit of cloth sanitary pads to a woman or girl in need. Cloth sanitary pads are eco-friendly, washable and reusable and reduce landfill waste, unlike disposable pads.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

We conducted a survey of 100 village women in Uttar Pradesh, India. Of the 100 women: - 92 use a combination of old saris and old rags to manage their menstruation. For most, using old saris and rags was a necessity rather than choice as the high cost of pads and accessibility issues made using pads unrealistic. - 80 told us that they'd most like to use sanitary pads. - 97 expressed interest in switching over to cloth sanitary pads when we showed them a sample. Giving these women washable cloth sanitary pads will significantly ease managing their periods each month. It will also give them peace of mind that the washable pads are still there for them to use next month.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

To date, we've confirmed that there is a need and desire for cloth sanitary pads. We are selling trendy women's underwear online and for every underwear sold, we give a sanitary kit to someone in need. Therefore, at this stage we are building our online underwear store in order to start accumulating sanitary kits for distribution. There will be no limit to the number of kits we distribute - the more underwear we sell, the more kits we get to give.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

We are structured as a for-profit social enterprise, which means a portion of our e-commerce sales will sustain our giving component, and another portion of sales proceeds will be channelled back into growing the business.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Eco-Femme is a wonderful organisation based in Tamil Nadu that sells cloth pads sewn by local women. Their products have been very well-received by local women. We differ from Eco-Femme in terms of our products. We are driven as a niche underwear online retailer, which has a social component of improving feminine hygiene by giving sanitary kits.
Team

Founding Story

I woke up one day and found out my period had started during the night. Reaching out for a sanitary pad, I suddenly asked myself what I'd do if I didn't have any. Like many other girls in the developed world, I had taken my access to sanitary pads and tampons for granted and never stopped to think about how crippling life could be without them. I did some research online and found out that lacking safe sanitary supplies and menstrual education was a real issue for many girls and women worldwide. Schoolgirls would skip school or drop out for fear that they'd stain their uniforms and have nowhere to wash, except in an outhouse in front of their male classmates. So Two Rags was born out of a desire to help girls and women in need.
About You
Organization:
Two Rags Clothing
About You
First Name

Phaemie

Last Name

Ng

About Your Project
Organization Name

Two Rags Clothing

Organization Country

, NSW, Sydney

Country where this project is creating social impact

, XX

How long has your organization been operating?

Less than a year

The information you provide here will be used to fill in any parts of your profile that have been left blank, such as interests, organization information, and website. No contact information will be made public. Please uncheck here if you do not want this to happen..

Your Solution
Founding Story: Share a story about the “Aha!” moment that led you to get started and/or to see the potential for this to succeed.

I woke up one day and found out my period had started during the night. Reaching out for a sanitary pad, I suddenly asked myself what I'd do if I didn't have any. Like many other girls in the developed world, I had taken my access to sanitary pads and tampons for granted and never stopped to think about how crippling life could be without them. I did some research online and found out that lacking safe sanitary supplies and menstrual education was a real issue for many girls and women worldwide. Schoolgirls would skip school or drop out for fear that they'd stain their uniforms and have nowhere to wash, except in an outhouse in front of their male classmates. So Two Rags was born out of a desire to help girls and women in need.

Select Sector(s): To which of Unilever's categories of sustainability does your solution apply?

Sanitation and Hygiene, Supply Chain Micro-entrepreneurs.

Measurable Impact
Audience: Who have you identified as your customers/recipients and why? How will you get your solution to them or engage them in your initiative?

Our customers will be youth/Gen Y people like us who are interested in making the world a better place. Through our commerce-funded giving program, we will provide a way for young people to make a tangible change through purchasing underwear they'd buy anyway. We are bringing a way for the everyday person to be philanthropic.

As for the recipients of our sanitary kits, we will identify schools, rural villages and charities to partner with us to distribute kits.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date and expected impact in the future?

To date, we've confirmed that there is a need and desire for cloth sanitary pads. We are selling trendy women's underwear online and for every underwear sold, we give a sanitary kit to someone in need. Therefore, at this stage we are building our online underwear store in order to start accumulating sanitary kits for distribution. There will be no limit to the number of kits we distribute - the more underwear we sell, the more kits we get to give.

We've also begun identifying ethical partner organisations to work with in order to provide employment to disadvantaged groups.

Growth, Finance & Leadership
Scaling the Solution: How do you intend to scale your activities over the next two years (e.g., reach new markets, diversify solutions, etc.)? What will make this possible?

The fact that we are a for-profit social enterprise will give us some room to scale our activities. We will use part of our sales proceeds to fund our giving, and another part to develop the business.

We strongly believe in supporting local enterprise and want to have our products made by locals, for locals. This means that our underwear and sanitary kits will be produced by ethical Indian workshops for the benefit of fellow Indian citizens.

We want to expand this modem to other countries to help women there by identifying artisan workshops/cooperatives/ethical organisations that can produce something saleable in the developed world, and we will channel proceeds to that country in terms of employment and sanitary kits.

Financial Sustainability: What is your business model to ensure financial sustainability?

Our business model is a lean for-profit social enterprise. We do not rely on donations or fundraising for our viability. We are online-based, and so have low overheads. Being for-profit, the commerce and philanthropic components of our business are self-sustaining - we only commit to giving a sanitary kit when we make a sale. We can also release new underwear styles at a pace suitable for our growth.

Experience: Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

I am also the author of a food blog Raging Cravings. I also ran a US-based online clothing store (now closed) a few years back.