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Design affordable tools that improve lives of adolescent girls’ living in poverty.


A kit that allow girls to wash, dry and carry reusable sanitary pads.

The Team

  • Charlotte Wong

    MBA Candidate

  • Benjamin Freedman

    MBA Candidate


Media Coverage

the guardian|Fast Company|GOOD|The Huffington Post|Tech Insider


Design Criteria


    Attend school during menstrual bleeding without worrying about others finding out


    Able to fully wash and dry reusable sanitary pads every day during menstrual bleeding


    Able to wash, dry and carry sanitary pads without being visible to other people


    Planting the seed to change the mindset towards menstrual cycle to be socially acceptable

  • Social stigma, and lack of sanitary items:

    Girls miss school or drop out completely

  • Cannot thoroughly wash or dry reusable pads:

    Cause reproductive infections and illnesses

  • Lack of privacy:

    Not able to workaround menstrual bleeding

  • Lack of social support due to taboos:

    Loose confidence to be who she wants to be

Challenge in Research

During this project, we didn’t have the opportunity of visiting girls worldwide living in poverty for primary research.

Instead, we gained insights from Nike Foundation and Fuseproject who have done field research.

Only 10% of girls are using disposable sanitary pads to rags because their family cannot afford them


    Fatih dried other women's rags in her hut since she did not live with men. Rags that are hung inside will not fully dry and can evolve into a breeding ground for bacteria.

    - Nicholas Kristof NY Times 2011


    School hand-washing station is located between the female and male toilets, offering no privacy to girls for washing menstrual leaks or stains.

    - WASH MHM Conference 2012


    Cloth is hung out to dry in a dark corner away from the sight of men. Women advise one another: “Hide the cloth. If men see it, they will lose their sight.”

    - Lakshmi Murthy 2006

Initial Idea Sketches From Insights

Prototyping & Testing

Test using ketchup & soysauce: Successfully came out with salt & baking powder

Test using animal blood: Successfully came out with salt & baking powder

Sealing container is a challenge

Design Refinement

Learnings from prototypes were applied to improve washer/dryer.

Business Plan

*RNCo: Rubbermaid New Company. In-country subsidiary that would be selling/marketing the products.

Key Partners

  • License to Rubbermaid for manufacturing / distribution
  • DuPont for Tyvek licensing
  • RNCo for marketing / sales

Value Proposition

  • Consumer: easier, more sanitary + discrete cleaning and carrying method
  • Partner: new market opportunity


  • Licensing of mold design

Sourcing Materials

  • Leverage existing network out-of-country
  • Plastic, metal wire, Tyvek


  • Leverage existing network out-of-country
  • Patented mold design


  • Partner ships products to local subsidiary (by sea)
  • RNCo handles in-country transportation from port of entry to point of sale


  • RNCo: est. retail + partner networks (household + personal care goods), pricing strategy, inventory management, after-sales support


  • RNCo: product positioning, target consumers / purchasers, user training, marketing analytics
  • Pouch can be used as give-away to increase product awareness


  • Test market with existing subsidiary and established demand (e.g. Brazil)
  • Encourage users to build their own from found objects for rural poor area


  1. Adanna got her first period, and cannot go to school because she is afraid of getting teased.

  2. She washes her stained pads at night so no one sees it, and her pads are always wet because she cannot dry them outside.

  3. Adanna’s Mom finds out about Flo from her friends. Mom used her money for clothings to purchase Flo.

  4. Girls open the box to find washer/dryer and four pouches with instruction written on them.

  5. Adanna washes her reusable pads with Flo. With spinning action, pads are already half way dry.

  6. She can hang the pads outside, hiding it with burlap cloth.

  7. Adanna inserts clean pad in pouch, and attach the pouch to her underwear.

  8. Now she can go to school without anyone knowing she is on period. Adanna can change her pad once, and bring the used one back home in the sealed pouch.


  • WASH

  • DRY


Very Special Thanks to:

[team Flo]

  • Sohyun K.
  • Tatijana V.
  • Charlotte W.
  • Benjamin F.
  • Krystina C.
  • Tom D.
  • Sherry H.
  • Andrea S.
  • Arden S.
  • Elizabeth S.
  • Marika S.
  • Stephen S.
  • Nicole T.

for Interviews, Advice, and Support.