News | 09.03.22

Free plant-powered period products launch at QMU

Hey Girls and QMU

Students at Queen Margaret University (QMU) Edinburgh will be able to access a new range of free sustainable period products, thanks to a new partnership with Hey Girls.

In 2018, the Scottish Government became the first country in the world to make period products free for all and actively supports colleges and universities in tackling period poverty by providing free period products for students, which can cost up to £8 per month.

QMU x Hey Girls

Thanks to this government funding and the new collaboration with Hey Girls, Queen Margaret University students can now benefit from this enhanced period poverty initiative with access to a range of single-use sustainable products or reusable period products on campus. 

The collection, which includes reusable day and night pads, non-applicator tampons and applicator tampons, was launched on International Women’s Day in conjunction with the Student’s Union. Students were able to learn about the products and pick up a supply via a ‘period pop-up stand’ at the Musselburgh campus. 

Daisy Williams, University & Colleges Partnership Manager at Hey Girls, said: “We are working with QMU to address period poverty and its environmental impact by providing students with period products made from 100% recyclable or biodegradable materials, alongside a selection of sustainable and reusable items. Our products are ‘plant powered’ – having been made from a combination of cotton, bio-based sugar cane, corn starch, and sustainable bamboo, to ensure all students can have a stress-free and free-of-charge period while protecting the environment.” 

Research by Plan International UK found that period poverty affects 1 in 10 people across the UK. In Scotland, the number is thought to be closer to 1 in 4, leaving many people – including students – to have to prioritise purchases or go without period products at all. 

Aasiyah Patankar, Student President at Queen Margaret University Students’ Union, added: “The theme for International Women’s Day this year is #BreakTheBias. As such we’re tackling period inequality by supplying period products to all QMU students that need them. There are lots of myths and taboos that surround periods and the on-campus launch on International Women’s Day aims to break these down.

“We love Hey Girls, not just for their eco-conscious period products, but also for their social good. They are the perfect partner for this project, and we are delighted that this important initiative fits so well Queen Margaret University’s values of on social equality and sustainability.” 

Hey Girls has given away over 20 million period products to people in need as part of their ‘buy one, donate one’ business model and works closely with a number of universities and colleges to ensure students that need access to quality period products, get them. 

Celia Hodson, Founder & CEO of Hey Girls, added: “This new partnership with QMU will ensure students get access to vital period products which fund the fight against period poverty in Scotland. For us, it is always a privilege to partner with organisations whose goals are aligned with our own; sustainability and education being key factors. We currently supply over 60 universities and colleges with our award-winning period products and are committed to the ongoing support to the student community in the area of period heath, equality and dignity.”