We caught up with Mooncup’s Director Kath Clements to find out more about the brand’s journey fighting against waste and what this exciting collaboration means to her.
Q: Mooncup was one of the first disruptors in the reusable period care category, could you tell us a bit more about the story behind the brand?
The story of Mooncup is one of a small women-led ethical business taking on a period product industry that was completely stagnant at the time. It’s hard to remember that back in 2002, all you ever saw on the period product aisle were tampons and pads made by multinationals. The Mooncup, created by Su Hardy, was the world’s first reusable silicone menstrual cup, paving a way for more planet-friendly period products. We were the first period product manufacturer in the world to be certified as an ethical business too. As you can imagine, as pioneers, we had to work relentlessly (and playfully!) to shift attitudes towards the possibility of a more positive period. At its roots was the need to shake up the period taboo, refusing to deploy the shame and embarrassment that used to surround periods and period products. From early Love your vagina campaigns, we made sure to punch well above our weight in changing the conversation. The positive word of mouth of #RealMooncupusers rippled out, making the Mooncup the #1 menstrual cup brand in the UK it still is today! All from our little Brighton business….
Q: What’s been the highlight of the Mooncup journey to date?
What a lovely question to reflect on! One highlight is hard to choose…Vivienne Westwood coming to our stand to chat about all things Mooncup at Glastonbury, Boots choosing to stock the Mooncup in 2005 bringing it firmly into the mainstream, Amy Winehouse getting involved in our Love your vagina campaign, winning the Marie Claire award for the best sustainable period product – there are so many!
Q: Tell us what the #unitedagainstwaste mission means to you?
Since the beginning, we’ve been fighting for a world with no more throwaway tampons, pads, applicators, wrappers and backing strips in our seas, sea birds or landfill! Just one of us will use around 11,000 throwaway tampons and pads in a lifetime. We know that switching your period product choice can drastically reduce that waste. Still, we know that together we can be even stronger. Long-lasting, positive change, will come about from collaborating rather than competing, working towards a common goal. Why waste this opportunity for positive change?
Q: Why should people with periods use a menstrual cup? What are the benefits to using one versus pads or tampons?
If you like a simple, neat solution it doesn’t get much better than a menstrual cup. You just need the one which lasts for years. Mooncup® is an absolute gamechanger if you’ve got heavy periods, it holds three times the fluid of a regular tampon, giving you one less thing to worry about. And because it’s not absorbent, it doesn’t dry you out on your lighter days or leave fibres behind. It’s one little bit of kit you can trust and rely on: whether it’s tucked inside you when you’re swimming on your period or taking up no space in your backpack on your adventures.
Q: The Mooncup x WUKA collaboration is a perfect example of how women can work together in business. What inspired you to team up with WUKA?
Our needs around our period are as unique as we each are, and can change from day to day and month to month. What we need at our first period may not be a match for our postpartum bleeds or the changing needs of perimenopause. We know some Mooncup users use a liner or a pad on light days or at night. We wanted to offer them a sustainable option to use. So, we met with Ruby from WUKA in 2022 to explore what collaborating, rather than competing, could bring. It looks like another win for both consumers and the planet. And the fact that the pads are made using the offcuts from WUKA period pants align perfectly with Mooncup’s values too!
Q: We noticed Mooncup has showcased at Glastonbury every year since 2002- tell us more about how this opportunity came about and who’s been your favourite headline act over the years!
Glastonbury festival, Green Futures field, is at the very roots of our business. It’s where our founder Su started to humbly raise awareness of the environmental impact of period products and the fact that with the Mooncup there was a better way! There’s something about the festival scene for a radical new concept. People go with open minds (or at least to loosen them!) and are keen to shake off their normal habits and discover new experiences. It’s perfect for thinking of something new like the Mooncup. It’s been a real privilege chatting to Glastonbury goers face to face about periods, vaginas, the stuff of once-
secrets, out and proud! Favourite headliner? Some of the discoveries we’ve stumbled across along the way have been the best fun, though the whole team heading down to Dolly Parton’s gig was a memory none of us is likely to forget soon!
Q: The Mooncup story is an inspiration to budding female entrepreneurs, tell us- what are your Top 3 lessons for succeeding in business?
Keep learning, stay curious and evolve: it’s not indulgent, it’s critical! Do something you believe in. That meaning can be your north star when challenges come! Surround yourself with people you admire, people with qualities and skills that you don’t have yourself.
Q: What makes the Mooncup® different from the other menstrual cups around?
The Mooncup® is backed by over 20 years of menstrual cup expertise, customer insight and product know-how. The Mooncup is designed by women and made right here in the UK to the highest quality standards. As well as supporting local manufacturing, by making the Mooncup® close to home we ensure sustainable manufacturing practices and minimal environmental impact. We also offer a unique Mooncup Advice Service to all our customers. There’s no such thing as TMI – all our Mooncup® advisors are medically trained and used to work as midwives or nurses. Only the best for your vagina!
Mooncup® x WUKA® limited edition period pads and liner bundles start from £10. Shop the collection here.
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