Episode 9 + 10: Eco-designer, Ruby Raut
For this episode I’m joined by Ruby Raut the Founder of Wuka Wear. Wuka wear is environmentally-friendly sustainable period underwear.
- How to find a manufacturer and why you need a grader.
- How you can turn your childhood experiences into a successful business.
- Mastering the art of marketing a taboo subject using a trojan horse.
- The importance of sustainability in your products.
- Gathering information through the ’50 coffee networking’ method.
- Using a blog interview to access high-profile or important person.
Ruby and I discuss Chhaupadi a practice in Nepal that exiled menstruating women and girls to period huts. Ruby bravely shared some of the traumatic experiences she faced with her periods as a young girl growing up in Nepal. The toilets at her fee-paying school were the worst she recalls, there would be an open and visible drain from the toilets that anyone could see, so a girl on her period could face shame and ridicule as well as removed from education while on her period.
The poor menstrual hygiene conditions in Nepal ultimately led to Ruby to design and manufacture Wuka Wear with no prior experience in fashion or manufacturing. This compounded with her Environmental Science degree, Ruby was naturally interested in the subject of sustainability. After working on a Enviro-menstruation project she had a light bulb moment and the idea for period pants was born.
Ruby had 50 coffee’s with people from different industries at different levels to gather all of the information she needed before pursuing Wuka Wear and she credits this to her success and achievements to date. We talk at great length about the challenges she faced getting social media promotion and shares for her business due to the stigma and taboo of periods. We talk about how she overcame this through shifting their positioning to better cater to this discomfort. Listen to the episodes below to find out more.