Originally starting in the heads of three high school girls as community service project. We aimed to create reusable cloth pads for women in low income and displaced settings. It quickly grew to a scale that we were quite unprepared for; We received sponsorship and support from corporates like Emirates Airlines, Lions Organisation and IFRC. After immigrating the UK for university, the intention was to have a year-long ‘cool-off’ period. After three years of stating our mission to create ‘even playing field for young girls’ we cut-short our break after only one month and got back to work with our new name: Even.
With our years of prior exposure to the humanitarian sectors logistics, we understood a need for a more cost-effective, culturally sensitive, and empathetic period product. As it is so-loved in the commercial sector, we began working to cost-engineer Period underwear, taking the cost from $25 to just $4.
Next month, we begin a pilot project in a Zervou, Greece, where we will distribute 3 pairs of underwear to every menstruating refugee. In just 3 years we are set to save Zervou over $200,000.
Dignity Kits are one of the most expensive and underperforming humanitarian aid items. They represent over $89 million dollars of humanitarian spending.
Unfortunately, refugees only receive about 1-2 months’ worth of disposable period products. In crises that last upwards of 6 years, this is unacceptable.
Disposable pads must be redistributed monthly and require underwear to be included in kits. Unfortunately, underwear is often left out due to cost. Although, when included, the medium-sized cotton underwear is reported to not fit over 80% of menstruators. Finally, in refugee settings there is no waste management infrastructure, so used pads become buried, burned or litter.
Too often, humanitarian aid products are wholesale consumer items, that are too expensive and not functional in the context of refugee camps. The sector relies on grassroots project to create cost-effective, products designed for the unique needs of refugees and the challenging and dynamic contexts of displaced settings.
Even has developed a low cost, one-size-fits-all, Period Underwear for low-income and displaced women. Even’s Period underwear lasts for over 4 years and is 6X more cost effective than the current humanitarian offerings. With Evens Reusable Period Underwear, we can maintain the same upfront cost as existing kits however, we eliminate the unnecessary £1.30 recurring cost per refugee. Moreover, our underwear eliminates over 7kgs of single use plastic per refugee, as well as having a 6x lower CO2 footprint than disposable pads.
Our underwear is One-size fits all using a custom extreme stretch textile to fit XS-XXXXL. This, critically, eliminates the sizing issue that complicates humanitarian logistics and can threaten to further erode the dignity of refugees who have never received clothing that they can wear.
Our mission is to take humanitarian budgets further, reaching more women and providing a more cost-effective, empathetic, and sustainable solution.
Treat everything like a science experiment. With this framing, the immediate assumption is that we have an imperfect/ incomplete solution. This helps you with three key areas:
1. Focusing on the problem rather than your solution: With this attitude it becomes harder to forget about your user/ customer/ beneficiary and your market fit. This helps you pivot faster when something is no longer working.
2. Marking ‘failures’ as feedback: A “No” no-longer stings when you are on a hunt for insight. “When I was talking where did they nod/ smile/ laugh? What kind of questions did they ask? What can this tell me about where my moments of clarity are in our pitch are?”
3. Measuring bias, impact, risk against reality: Are you thinking about your biases, limitations, or experimental design? About 50% of academics will be more than chuffed someone cares and is actively applying their work. They would likely lend you some of their time after a passionate but polite email.
Lastly, You cannot outwork someone who is enjoying themselves. Have fun!