Saving the planet, one period at a time: gender equality activist and founder of sustainable period brand Intheflow

Episode Description

What happens when you build a business centering purpose, people and the planet, over  profit? My inspiring guest this week is Emma Anastasi, the founder of Intheflow, a social enterprise on a mission to change gender-biased discourse around periods, save the planet from excess plastic, and tackle period poverty.

Em reveals some of the shocking statistics around the damage traditional period products are doing to our planet. From the fact that a single use tampon takes between 500/1,000 years to break down, to the stats that show the average menstruating person will use around 15,000  single use products in their lifetime.

Intheflow aims to  champion the use of other products like menstruating cups and period pants that are reusable for many months and even years.  

We chat about the challenges of pivoting between businesses and career industries, and not conforming to other people's expectations of your career path.

Join us as we not only discuss the pressing issues surrounding menstruation and sustainability but also pay homage to the power of passion, purpose, and the people who propel us forward in our mission to make a difference.

Episode Transcript

In our last episode, Emma Anastasi, a pioneering social entrepreneur takes us on a transformative journey, challenging traditional perspectives on menstrual health and environmental advocacy. Transitioning from a career in dental consultancy to becoming a pioneer in the sustainable period product industry, provides deep insights into the shift towards menstrual cups and their benefits over conventional products. This episode unpacks the stigma associated with menstruation and the cultural barriers that perpetuate discomfort and embarrassment in workplace discussions about periods.

The discussion delves into Emma's career trajectory, from an accidental start as a dental receptionist to becoming a dental nurse highly involved in innovative maxillofacial dentistry. This background in healthcare and community service has shaped her approach to addressing menstrual health and environmental issues. Her journey underscores the importance of personal narratives in advocating for change. She also mentions the challenges faced in the recruitment sector in general, and especially during a global pandemic.

A significant focus of the episode is the environmental impact of traditional menstrual products. The conversation reveals that an individual may use up to 15,000 pads and tampons in their lifetime, most of which contain plastics that end up in landfills or oceans. In contrast, menstrual cups, typically made of medical-grade silicone, offer a sustainable and cost-effective alternative. The discussion also touches upon the role of local artists in promoting body positivity and diversity, linking these efforts to the broader theme of empowerment and accessibility to sustainable menstrual solutions.

Emma sheds light on the decision-making process behind running a social enterprise, balancing profitability with social impact. The merits of partnering with local businesses to donate menstrual cups to community organizations are explored, along with the possibility of transitioning to a charity to access additional funding. This conversation highlights the entrepreneurial challenges of scaling a business without losing sight of its mission.

Emma shares her personal growth journey, blending passion with professional aspirations. She discusses the chalenges of establishing a brand identity and the importance of authenticity and personal connection in reaching a wider audience. The conversation underscores the power of persistence and the importance of commitment to making a difference in the world through social entrepreneurship.

This episode leaves us with a profound sense of the potential each individual holds to advocate for causes like sustainability, climate justice, and gender equality. The narrative is a compelling reminder that our actions, no matter how small, can indeed make a significant impact. It is a tribute to the relentless spirit of social entrepreneurs who are reshaping the conversation around different factors and environmental consciousness for the betterment of society and our planet.

Biro Florin - host of the Misfit Founders podcast, startup founder and angel investor

Biro Florin

Entrepreneur & Podcaster

Biro is a founder, investor and podcast host. He invests and mentors several early stage startups.

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