A group of students from the Art Center College of Design, California have come up with a godsend invention.
‘Flo’ is an easy to use, inexpensive device that allows you to carry around your reusable sanitary pads, and even helps you with washing and drying them, with optimum efficiency.
For most of us privileged girls, period woes are associated mostly with staining and cramps. However, in low-income countries, the worst part of menstruation is not having funds to buy pads. Which means resorting to using unsanitary scraps and rags, with constant fear of contracting infections and just generally a lot more discomfort than any girl would ever bargain for.
Across the globe, because of their inability to afford the more expensive disposable option, about 90 percent of girls use reusable pads and rags.
According to Project Humanity, in low-income countries like Kenya, girls often resort to using leaves, newspapers, bits of mattress stuffing or even mud, in order to keep the red sea at bay. Along with extreme health risks, one can only imagine the amount of discomfort associated using reusable alternatives.
Adding to the discomfiture, because of taboos associated with periods, girls cannot freely wash their pads and hang them out to dry, to facilitate reuse. This increases risk of dampness and bacteria infestation.
Flo’s groundbreaking technology comes to the rescue.
Composed of two bowls, a basket, and string, it uses half the amount of water and detergent than a standard hand washing method requires. Inside the device, the ongoing spinning action cuts down drying time. After the initial wringing, Flo turns into a hanging rack for girls to dry their pads outside.
This video will show you how this incredible device works:
It also comes with a handy little pouch for girls to store their dirty and clean pads during the school day.
The prototype was tested with ketchup, soy sauce and animal blood. Because the students did not have the opportunity to do their own field research, they relied on findings from the Nike Foundation and Fuseproject.