Hey Girls launches UNsanitary campaign to tackle period poverty

A national campaign to raise awareness of period poverty in the UK showcases the unsafe items girls and young women use because they cannot afford real sanitary products.

Social enterprise Hey Girls and The Big Issue have launched the 'UNsanitary' campaign to raise awareness of how poverty-stricken girls and young women are forced to use unhygienic alternatives to sanitary products.

One in 10 girls and young women are regularly forced to use unsanitary items because they cannot afford real sanitary products.

An UNsanitary product range, created by adam&eveDDB, resembles existing sanitary products. On closer inspection, UNsanitary products comprise unsanitary items girls are often forced to use – such as socks, newspaper and toilet paper.

The products were on display at pop-ups in selected Asda stores on 15 February.

Proceeds from sales of many of Hey Girls' sanitary products are donated to help girls and young women in need. 

Several media and agency partners have helped bring Hey Girls' largest campaign to life.

The consumer campaign is being supported by PR agency 3 Monkeys Zeno and outdoor company Clear Channel.

3 Monkeys Zeno – working with some of its partners, Markettiers, Run Ragged and Opinium – created a full PR launch plan including influencer social media support and full media announcement.

PRWeek received samples of the UNsanitary product range (pictured below).

Outdoor advertising firm Clear Channel is displaying influencer content across full-motion digital advertising screens in shopping malls across the UK and on its Storm site in London.

To help drive awareness and education, The Big Issue created a special edition, which includes a 24-page special mini-magazine about periods, menstrual products, poverty, activism and the environment – and what can be done to help.

Celia Hodson, founder of Hey Girls, said: “We created ‘UNsanitary’ to provoke awareness about the shocking extent of period poverty in the UK. Progress is being made, but we knew we needed to do something drastic for large numbers of people to take notice of what so many women and girls are going through. We hope the campaign will rally businesses and the Government to instigate more radical changes.”

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