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June 11, 2022 3 min read

        I was in my local CVS last month because, let's be honest, I had a coupon that was about to expire. The entire back wall is usually stocked with brightly colored packaging, so I couldn't help but notice the naked metallic shelving from a distance. While I don't need any period products since I designed and sell a patented menstrual cup, Kind Cup, I do on occasion peek at that back wall to see what other brands are doing in this space. 
        While I might be an outlier as someone curious about product roll outs and changes in this space, that wasn't what drew me to the back wall of my local CVS on May 2nd - it was the empty, metallic shelves. 

        Just under the top shelf, six up from the floor, a semi-permanent sign was placed that read, "Due to the global supply issues, select fiber products are temporarily out of stock. Please see an associate for alternatives." Below that, the CVSHealth logo was displayed. In glancing at what products were available on the shelves, I noticed that CVS had now added their own menstrual cup to the market. 
        Kind Cup launched as a bootstrapped startup a few months before COVID shut the world down. We kept everything hyper local from the start to ensure low carbon impact, high quality and ethical production throughout. Despite that approach, our lead time on production and overall pricing in subsequent production runs was still impacted. Other companies, across all industries, had previously outsourced overseas to increase their margins, but were now scrambling to use local suppliers and manufacturers once they realized their products and supplies were all stuck on cargo ships. The supply chain issues that we've faced as a brand from our premium silicone material, to the FSC, sustainable packaging, was not exclusive to us, but to continue to see massive global conglomerates absent from the period product selves? This shortage and ongoing supply chain issues, and price hikes from every angle, is not going to be resolved anytime soon. 
        Will people with periods no longer have reliable access or choice in the types of products they use, whether it's tampons, pads, or reusables such as period underwear, menstrual discs or cups? Will this be the impetus for people who've been on the fence about finally trying reusable products like menstrual cups to see what the rave is all about? Is the fact that they can reuse menstrual cups for up to ten years, saving hundreds of dollars in the process, going to be the reason they make the switch? And for those who are already experiencing hardships accessing period products due to period poverty, will our government finally take action and recognize across the U.S. that period products are not luxury items and that safe and reliable products should be accessible to everyone who needs them? (Period poverty factored greatly into why I started Kind Cup. Learn more about our Kind Impact Initiative at www.kindcup.com.)
        The ongoing continued scarcity and uncertainty within the larger single-use period product industry will likely continue for another year or two. This will potentially accelerate the overall trend that Gen Z was already fueling towards their increasing preference of reusable products. The good news is that despite selling out several times, Kind Cup has largely managed to stay in stock and even expand our product line all while maintaining our guiding ethos of being "kind to your body, the earth, and others."
    
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To learn more about Kind Cup or purchase a menstrual cup, visit kindcup.com
 

Christine Brown
Christine Brown



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