Aisle and SPUD deliver on reducing period poverty

April 23, 2021

Two women hold up tote bags full of period products for donation.

Two local organizations have teamed up with This is Me... Period, a BC Housing-led project that distributes period products to women, non-binary, and trans British Columbians in need.

Aisle, which produces environmentally friendly and inclusive period products, donated a significant amount of period underwear in November.

SPUD, an online grocery service, promoted the sale of select period products during March and donated a portion of the proceeds. In addition, SPUD customers left unopened period products in their delivery bins for donation.

“We are grateful to work with Aisle and SPUD, two organizations that recognize the realities of period poverty and strive to help at the community level,” said Dian Patterson, Director of Leadership and Learning at BC Housing and founder of This is Me... Period.

“The importance of This is Me... Period cannot be underestimated,” said Armin Amrolia, Executive Director of Development and Asset Strategies at BC Housing and Associate Vice President/Executive Sponsor of This Is Me... Period. “All over the world, a lack of access to adequate period products have excluded women and young girls from basic activities, like socializing, attending school, and going to work.”

Period poverty is common in Canada. A 2018 study found that 70 percent of Canadian women under 25 have missed school, work, or social activities because of their period, while one-third struggle to afford period products.

In 2018, This is Me… Period launched in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside in collaboration with non-profit partners. Community members who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness are employed to sew tote bags that are then filled with period products and distributed. Due to COVID-19, This is Me… Period has postponed donation events, making contributions from Aisle and SPUD even more vital.

“It’s gratifying to us and our non-profit partners that there is expanding interest in This is Me… Period and growing awareness about period poverty,” said Patterson.

Aisle has helped supply hundreds of thousands of reusable pads and period underwear to people in eighteen different nations. Last year, SPUD collected and donated over 75,000 period products across Western Canada.