Periodically - Sept 2018
Dear Friends, we're back to share a round up of what's been going on since our last newsletter in May. A lot has happened!

Grab a cup of tea and put your feet up for a full catch up!
Sustainable Menstruation in the North East of India
On April 5th and 6th, 2018, Eco Femme and UGER conducted a pilot workshop for Self Help Group (SHG) women. 38 women from SHGs across 8 states of the North East Region participated in the workshop on menstrual health and products awareness held in Guwahati, Assam. Take a look at the video below from the workshop, we'll be sharing a detailed report on this ongoing work in the coming weeks.
Nuns attending menstrual education workshop
Eco Femme & the Tibetan community in India
The Women Empowerment Desk under the Central Tibetan Administration based in Dharamshala, India is collaborating with Eco Femme on a pilot project to expand the ongoing menstrual education and sustainable menstrual product initiatives on a larger scale in the Tibetan community. Starting with a four day training of trainers workshop in early May 2018, the project aims to reach 1,270 women and girls across Tibetan settlements, schools and nunneries in Dharamshala, Ladakh and Nepal. 
To understand more about Eco Femme's ongoing relationship with the Tibetan community, visit our blog post here.
Our ranges, renamed!
Since both our commercial ranges are now made with organic fabric, we've renamed them to make things easier.
Our brightly coloured pads are part of the 'vibrant organic' range and our white pads are from the 'natural organic' range.
Vibrant range pads
Natural range pads
GST Rollercoaster!
In June 2017, the Indian Government introduced the Goods and Services Tax (GST). This meant a change from 5% to 12% of taxes on sanitary products, a dramatic increase for a product needed every month (READ MORE). At that time, we tried to mitigate the effects on the end user by a moderate change in price that allowed a shared carrying of the extra cost by the end user and Eco Femme.

The tax increase took menstrual activists to the streets. And Ta-daa! Only a year later, in July 2018, the GST on sanitary products has been brought down to ZERO. This allowed us to again lower our pad prices for the Indian market accordingly.
Protests against sanitary product taxes are happening worldwide, do you pay tax in your country? Let us know!
Hellos and goodbyes
In July, we said farewell to Pavithra (centre in yellow) and Tushita (second from right) but welcomed Sathya (far right) who is replacing Pavithra working on accounts and production. We also see the return of our long time colleague Melanie (top left corner) who is back in our sales and marketing team after 2 years away travelling.
Back from the hack!
After our website was hacked (really now!), we were lucky to recover most of it but had to rebuild our online shop. We moved the shop onto a new secure server and launched it in August. You can check it out here:
New Video!
Our very talented volunteer Aishwarya, created a beautiful stop motion product demo video for us. Check it out below!
Flooding in Kerala
Kerala crisis
At the end of August, our neighboring state of Kerala made headlines as parts of the state were severely affected by flooding. We found ourselves increasingly approached by concerned individuals and groups keen to donate cloth pads to those in crisis. We reached out to some of our local contacts in Kerala to understand better whether cloth pads would make a difference and how distribution could be managed during the emergency. As a result, we committed to donate 500 cloth pads for distribution via 2 grassroots partners.
As doing the right thing is also always context specific, we wrote an article analysing the pros and cons of different menstrual products during flooding and other natural disasters.
On 1st September, our co-founders Jessamijn and Kathy enjoyed a lively interactive session with a group of fellows from the Transforming India Institute in Hyderabad. Over the course of the day, they shared, in depth, their journey to set up Eco Femme and discussed the challenges associated with introducing cloth washable pads as a product innovation into the Indian marketplace.
This interaction inspired new insights among the fellows especially in the space of product development, marketing and the value of continuous learning and helped some of them hone their ideas and connect better towards their vision. And hooray, we gained a fab male ambassador: Vivek (bottom left) whom is already totally engrossed in the material! ;-)
Our thanks to TII for having us.
Pavithra got married!
On the 5th September, the entire team attended the wedding of our former colleague Pavithra. All dressed up, we danced our full 1.5 hour bus journey to the wedding, had a wonderful time.... Dear Pavi, we wish you and your husband a lifetime of happiness together.
That's all for now. We'll be back at the end of the year with another issue of 'Periodically', in the meantime stay connected with us over on our social media accounts linked below. We're always happy to hear from you!  Thanks for reading.
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