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Stop the Shame Period: Develop a digital marketing strategy to promote sustainable menstrual health and hygiene choices

Project Stream:
 MALP, Summer Term 2023

Industry: Not-for-profit

I (Katherine de Gaullier des Bordes) founded a small charity without the means to undertake a digital transformation project, hence I was tremendously grateful for the opportunity to work with LSE students. They brought innovative ideas to the project that I intend to implement in the future.

About the company:

Stop the Shame Period was founded in 2022 by Katherine de Gaullier des Bordes in response to her struggles with misdiagnosed endometriosis.She battled endometriosis for more than two decades before receiving an accurate diagnosis via surgical intervention.

For nearly seven years, Katherine volunteered for Children of the Mekong, a non-profit organisation providing support, education, and training for underserved young people in Southeast Asia. Due to her medical condition, Katherine is unable to have children, therefore one of her only connections to children was through her work for Children of the Mekong and the girl she sponsored.

Whilst living in Hong Kong, Katherine became involved in the Hong Kong branch of Children of the Mekong and routinely visited her sponsoree. It was through this experience that Katherine became aware of the lack of comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights education in Cambodia and the other countries in which Children of the Mekong operates: Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. Katherine realised that without proper support, the stigma and taboos that led to her struggles would impact children in other countries as well.

With particular concern for her sponsoree, Katherine organised Stop the Shame Period’s pilot project, GreenFlow. Part of this project was undertaken at Anjali House, a community centre in Siem Reap, Cambodia, in July 2023 with the aim of educating children, adolescents, teachers, and parents/carers to make informed choices about sexual and reproductive health and rights, including self-care products

The project culminated in a workshop on Collaborative Filmmaking, an embodied, participatory, and visual research method in which participants, in this case volunteers, were trained to create, analyse, and screen films to address the efficacy of the project.

Stop the Shame Period aims to partner with additional organisations in the Global North and Global South that conduct education programmes in sexual and reproductive health and rights by organising a Collaborative Filmmaking workshop at the end of each education programme.

About the project:

Stop the Shame Period was created to provide sustainable solutions to the stigma and taboos around menstruation, which have been present in human culture for thousands of years. Even today, there are very few cultures, societies, and religions in which menstruation is viewed positively.

  • Disposable, plastic-based sanitary pads are the preferred menstrual product globally, but many women cannot afford them. These products typically consist of up to 90% plastic – as much as four plastic shopping bags. The average woman is estimated to throw away more than 10,000 disposable sanitary pads, equivalent to 40,000 plastic shopping bags, in her menstrual lifetime. 
  • The relatively few sanitary products made with conventional cotton are grown with toxic pesticides and bleached with chlorine.In addition, plastic-based sanitary products contain superabsorbent polymers, known as SAPs, which are designed to hold large amounts of liquid. SAPs are comprised of sodium polyacrylate, a synthetic material that is not biodegradable.

Safe, biodegradable, disposable, affordable sanitary pads are not yet commercially available anywhere in the world. Stop the Shame Period proposes to change that by offering a fully biodegradable sanitary pad, ‘GreenFlow’, made of locally sourced, 100% natural and recycled materials, including dried water hyacinth (a perennial, invasive, free-floating aquatic plant that is present on all continents except Antarctica) as the absorbent filling.Dried water hyacinth can absorb up to eleven times its weight, therefore making it the ideal absorbent filling of GreenFlow, particularly because it has antiinflammatory, antifungal and antibacterial properties.

For 2024 and 2025, they intend to conduct further Research & Development to achieve a viable product

Project Objective:

Stop the Shame Period sought student consultants to create a digital marketing strategy in consultation with the Founder of Stop the Shame Period, Katherine de Gaullier des Bordes.

The main objectives are to:  

  1. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of Stop the Shame Period’s current website and updating it accordingly with new content, curate an SEO strategy to suit global search preferences, advise on Google’s recommendations for content and optimise the website for mobile content.
  2. Develop a content strategy that highlights core themes and links them to global needs; 
  3. Decide on the appropriate formats for conveying content (e.g. video, audio, articles etc.) based on global preferences; 
  4. Enhance Stop the Shame Period’s social media presence by making existing social channels (Instagram and LinkedIn) part of the enhanced content marketing strategy, as well as creating new social media channels based on global preferences. And to implement all of this in a digestibale calendar for the team to use accordingly.
  5. Identify affiliates/influencers that can increase global audience reach; 
  6. Strengthen Stop the Shame Period’s existing MailChimp account or identify a more cost efficient, effective and consistent means of email marketing (especially how it can bring value to a global audience); 
  7. Identify how and where to make video a part of Stop the Shame Period’s enhanced content marketing strategy; 
  8. Research audio marketing, including podcasts, and how/where they can be incorporated as part of their content marketing strategy.

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Company statement

What do you think the students brought to the business? Were their ideas different from what you could have achieved if you have conducted this project in-house?

I (Katherine de Gaullier des Bordes) founded a small charity without the means to undertake a digital transformation project, hence I was tremendously grateful for the opportunity to work with LSE students. They brought innovative ideas to the project that I intend to implement in the future. 

How do you think the Business Projects have helped your business?

LSE students developed a digital transformation plan for my company. Their hard work will ultimately raise awareness of the causes we support. 

How would you use the outcomes in your business going forward?

LSE students provided a long-term digital strategy for my company that will serve as a blueprint for future projects. 


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