Ashleigh Hipwood on Changing Relationships With Periods and Sustainable Self-Care
Welcome to Flo-To Week! A week dedicated to discussing All Things Periods. We’re kicking things off with an interview with the co-founder of Scarlet, Ashleigh Hipwood. Scarlet is a period care brand determined to improve relationships with periods through their sustainable self care. We asked Ash to tell us everything - from product development to future plans. Have a read, already!
Tell us about yourself and Scarlet.
My name is Ash. I’m a Taurean with raging PMS, light - moderate flow and an avid Period G-String advocate. And I’m one of the co-founders at Scarlet. I work with the team across product, content, digital and social. I also spend a lot of time talking to our community, sharing their stories and gaining valuable insight and feedback - which I love. We’re building something new - a new period brand for a new kind of period. So every day is different, and every day we’re creating, reshaping and progressing what better period care looks like.
What inspired you to launch a period care brand?
The menstrual cycle is one of the most important things in life, yet it remains a mystery for most of us and it’s not something we all have a positive relationship with. We want to help change that through design and innovation, putting the same emphasis on products for your menstrual cycle as you’d expect from your favourite beauty brands for example. We’re focussed on creating a more sustainable, supported and enjoyable monthly self care routine.
Talk us through your product development process. How long did it take to perfect the products?
We launched our first product, the Period Cup - after more than a year of research, design, testing and refinement. However testing took a lot longer than we’d expected - we’d have to find who in our ‘Scarlet Lab’ group chat had their period next - which never synced up when the new samples arrived!
What is the most common misconception about period underwear or period cups?
The fear of your own blood is a big one. Which comes back to masking your period and not wanting to know what’s going on down there. With these methods, you do see your blood - it is confronting if you're not used to it - but you quickly realise it’s not gross or scary and it’s one of the most normal parts of life.
Do you have any advice for people who are wary about trying a period cup or period underwear? What are the do's and don’ts for first-timers?
Give yourself space to try them and some time to get used to them. Don’t jump into it expecting to be a pro your first time. Do expect to have a life changing (literally) relationship with your cycle from here on in - which your body and the planet will thank you for.
What’s next for Scarlet?
Sustainable self-care. Period.