An Edinburgh entrepreneur has launched a new menstrual hygiene kit that allows products to be used, stored, cleaned and disposed in a safe way.
Erin Reid created the product after finding a lack of options for women who find themselves in an environment with no toilets or hand-washing facilities.
Outdoor enthusiasts, adventurers, and armed forces personnel who are menstruating are among the most at risk from urinary tract infections, toxic shock and even infertility because of poor hygiene facilities in remote environments.
Erin wanted to create a solution that would make it safe to dispose of period products where there is no access to toilets or handwashing facilities.
She explained: “I love being outdoors – especially cycling, hillwalking, and my time with the University Officer Training Corps – but I’ve always been infuriated by the lack of products, solutions, and education for women who have their periods in remote environments.”
Erin’s start-up company LU Innovations won last year’s Converge Create Change Challenge and the Rose Award – a standalone prize sponsored by the Royal Bank of Scotland to help women start businesses
As well as a £40,000 cash prize and £10,000 worth of business support, Erin won a one-to-one mentoring session with NatWest Group chief executive Alison Rose.
LU Innovations is working with Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen to further develop its design and with the Medical Device Manufacturing Centre at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh on relevant healthcare standards.
Dr Claudia Cavalluzzo, executive director of Converge, said: “Erin Reid and her LU Innovations are great examples of the drive that lies at the heart of Converge – to give everyone the chance to solve a problem, no matter their background or gender.
“Erin spotted a problem that she wanted to fix and teaming up with Converge and our university partners will help her to make a difference in the lives of women around the world.”
The start-up is now preparing to raise £200,000 in funding to launch the kit.