Sue Barnes created Subz Pants and Pads in response to a request for the donation of washable sanitary pads and panties for the under privileged school girls in her area.  The Subz product is a patented design where the washable, reusable sanitary pad clips directly onto a 100% cotton panty.  The Subz products can last a girl from 3 – 5 years.

The pads are eco-friendly, contain no chemicals or gels, are washable and reusable.  The pad is made up of 6 layers of fabric, the outer being the 100% cotton knit, water proofing, 3 layers of hydrophilic fabric and then the inner is a hydrophobic fabric.

Sue Barnes first heard about the issue of girls missing school because of a lack of access to sanitary wear when her daughter came home with a request from her school for donations of disposable sanitary pads.  Sue investigated further and realized that this was a serious concern and as much as donations would help the girls the help would be only short term.

Sue decided to look at a longer term, sustainable solution for these girls.  With her fashion design degree, Sue set about designing a washable, reusable sanitary pad.  It took 3 prototypes until the final product, as we know today, was produced.  The design of clipping the pad directly onto the panty was patented and offered girls a product that was  safe, easy to wash and re-use, cost effective and would last a few years.

Subz Pants and Pads relies solely on fundraising and funding from donors, individual and corporates to raise the funds to manufacture the Subz products and then distribute to school girls in need. 

Included in the distribution of the product is an educational program on puberty, menstruation and female health.  According to the UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) “When girls do not have information and manage menstruation inadequately, they may experience negative health impacts, or may not fully enjoy their right to health.  In addition, taboos or stigma around menstruation may prevent girls from seeking or receiving timely medical treatment related to abnormal bleeding or pain.  Lack of knowledge around menarche and menstruation may increase anxiety or psychosocial stress, in particular for adolescent girls.”

The Subz products and the educational program aim to empower girls to reach their full potential by being able to stay in school and finish their education.

According to UNFPA “The onset of menstruation, a lack of adequate WASH (Water, Sanitation, Hygiene) facilities at school, fear of staining due to inadequate menstrual materials, or not having access to medication for period pains are factors that may keep girls from school during menstruation; frequent absenteeism often results in dropping out of school”

Since 2010, Subz Pants and Pads and their NPO, Project Dignity have distributed over 100 000 packs of Subz washable, reusable sanitary pad packs. 


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