Culture

How the humble sanitary pad is turning into the season's hottest accessory

It's not a taboo. Period

Every girl who has ever gone to buy a sanitary pad or tampon in India has received it wrapped self-consciously in newspaper, treated like some sort of contraband. Desperately requested for sanitary pad in hushed whispers, so as to not alert those around you to the fact that you may have your period, as if this natural occurrence is a point of shame. Something to be kept silent and lied about for fear of causing discomfort to those around you.

But let's be honest, those around you don't deserve the sensitivity of not being uncomfortable. The real discomfort here belongs to you. The fear that if those whispers come back unanswered, you may stain your favourite pair of pants. The only person here who deserves to be uncomfortable is the one with their period.

NH1 Design is taking it upon themselves to normalise how we view one of the most natural of biological functions. The branding and design consultancy -- along with designer Pallavi Mohan -- has taken it upon themselves to rebrand the pad. Because let's be honest, your period needs better marketing. The initiative, 'Don't Hide it. Period', has reinvented the conventional sanitary napkin packaging by putting a set of 10 pads in a canvas bag featuring bright red and orange polka dots. Each sanitary pad is packaged with a bold message on its wrapping such as, " It's not a bad word. Period".

"I think it is time that society breaks out of the taboo that is associated with women and their menstruation cycle. Every girl/woman should have access to proper menstruation hygiene. This is just a step closer to what we envision -- a world where both women and men are aware and consider it as a very important conversation that they need to have," Pallavi has said.

The pads are available exclusively on Nykaa.com. With every pack of pads purchased, the sale proceeds will be donated to The Better India, who are setting up a factory in Ajmer together with Aakar Innovations who will employ local women to manufacture and distribute bio-degradable, low cost sanitary pads.