Ditch The Rag was founded in 2019 by Amirah Miller, a Science Teacher in West London.
We spoke to Amirah, who told us about why and how she launched Ditch the Rag and how she is making sustainable period products accessible for the people she works with.
"I started Ditch the Rag as it was becoming a norm to buy tampons and pads for girls in my classes during my weekly grocery shops.
The detrimental environmental impact of these disposable products began to concern me, which is the main reason I made the switch to the menstrual cup.
I then started to question why I was buying the girls disposable period products when I wouldn’t use them myself, so I began crowdfunding to generate capital to purchase, create and distribute plastic-free, reusable menstrual care packs for girls on free school meals.
These girls are the most vulnerable and at risk of being negatively impacted by period poverty.
These reusable menstrual products provide a longer-term solution to the problem that is period poverty as well as addressing the very current issue of plastic pollution."
What inspired you to become a period activist?
"Female empowerment, freedom, visibility, breaking taboos, I went to an all girls school growing up and we were always made to feel that as women our voices deserved to be heard and should be heard."
Has the perception of your period changed with the time?
"I wouldn’t say so, I don’t ever remember feeling embarrassed or ashamed to have a period. Going to an all girls school and having an older brother who was exceptionally unbothered by periods as a whole meant that I grew up pretty much shame free. I didn’t even consider the possibility that periods could be perceived as “embarrassing” until I was much older."
What kind of changes would you like to see out there?
"I would like to see period products made accessible for all, in any public place and any public bathroom. My belief is that if toilet roll is provided, period products should also be."
What does privilege mean for you?
Privilege to me, means that there are groups in society who possess certain benefits/advantages to the detriment of others. For example an individual from an economically stable demographic vs an individual from an economically unstable demographic will not worry every month whether or not they will be able to afford period products.
What does equity mean for you?
Equity has the potential to create a level playing field for all to prosper, where an individual's unique needs are identified and the level of care and support they receive are adjusted accordingly. Ultimately it benefits us all to have a society where the population has been educated, this can’t happen if girls are missing school regularly due to the inadequate access to period products.
What keeps you strong?
I don’t live by any mantras per se but “storms never last” is something that has kept me going on many occasions in 2020.
Take action, make a difference
By buying a Ruby Cup, you support our menstrual health programmes and charity initiatives like Ditch the Rag.