Introducing: Ruby Cup

Ruby Cup's business model has a "pay it forward" design. 

Ruby Cup reached out to YBBG Style a short while ago to introduce their menstrual cup that is sold under a unique business model. Ruby Cup, unlike other menstrual cups, employs a Buy1Give1 method to selling their brand of cups.

With each purchase of a Ruby Cup, one is given to a young lady who cannot otherwise afford to purchase products to maintain her health while experiencing her cycle each month. For far too many girls and young women, having a cycle is burdensome and comes with unnecessary problems and at times, shame.

Most women have an embarrassing moment story about a cycle showing up unexpectantly or being heavy, so out comes the jacket to tie around your waist...or praying that the machine in the bathroom is actually stocked.

I remember playing basketball as a teen and having my cycle show up. I had no products on hand. I had to run to the lockerroom to grab a tampon, and quite frankly did not know how to use one, as I had always used pads. Let's just say, my embarrassing moment became even more embarrassing, and I had to leave practice.

For some young ladies, having a cycle without proper protection isn't just embarrassing, it can be life altering.

YBBG Style spoke with Amaia Arranz, the strategic partnerships manager for Ruby Cup about the brand and what they do to aid young ladies around the globe in dealing with the issues that come with having their cycles.  

YBBG STYLE: Starting the menstrual cycle is every young girl's rite of passage into adulthood. Do you remember what that was like for you? 

I do. I had such mixed emotions. On the one hand, I had been VERY looking forward to getting my period (nearly all the girls in my class had already started and I wanted to fit in and join the conversation); on the other one the idea of "becoming a woman", just like that, was pretty scary. Of course, no one becomes an adult from one day to the next but as you say, it is a really significant rite of passage.

YBBG STYLE: What about your own experiences led you to create Ruby Cup? 

My friend Maxie (who would later become a Ruby Cup co-founder)  was a menstrual cup user and convinced me to give it a go. I must admit I was a bit dubious to start with but once I got the hang of it, I was amazed. I felt fresher and comfier than when using tampons, not to mention that I did not need to change anywhere near as much and I could forget about having to carry or buy boxes of the stuff every month. I believe it is  the best menstrual care solution available and I want all women to have access to it.

YBBG STYLE: Many women have experienced cycles that disrupt their daily routines (heavy bleeding, cramps, PMS), how does Ruby Cup address these and other issues that come with having a menstrual cycle? 

Ruby Cup holds two to three times the amount of flow a super tampon or pad does. This is a game changer for women with heavy periods, who see their days disrupted from having to find a toilet to change every two hours or less. Many women report having more manageable cramps while using menstrual cups and since the medical grade silicone Ruby Cup is made of does not contain chemicals, perfumes or bleaches, it is the best product for women with very sensitive skin or suffering with allergies.

This is not to mention the thousands of women (not only in developing countries but in the States and Europe as well) that struggle to afford disposable products so managing their menstruation is a regular source of stress.

YBBG STYLE: There are several other menstrual cups on the market, how is Ruby Cup different from its competitors? 

Ruby Cup is made of an extremely soft medical grade silicone which makes it pleasant to the touch and easy to use. Our medium size has enough capacity so many women are able to wear it without having to empty it for around 8 hours. And the sturdy stem makes removal more comfortable.

However, the thing that really differentiates us from other brands is our Buy One Give One programme where, for each cup we sell, we donate a Ruby Cup to a girl in need 

YBBG STYLE: Your business model for Ruby Cup includes a "Buy one Give one" segment. Explain the nature of that aspect of your business. 

It is quite simple actually. For every cup we sell, we donate another one to a schoolgirl in need. Or rather, our customers give a cup for each one they buy.

We partner with organisations in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Nepal that distribute the cups, working closely with schools and local networks. All the partners deliver an educational workshop that comprises reproductive health, menstrual care and how to use Ruby Cup when they distribute the cups, and they follow up with the users for 6-12 months afterwards.

They also ensure that the right facilities are in place so they users can wash their hands frequently and boil their cups in between periods.

YBBG STYLE: How did you initially come to the decision to provide Ruby Cups to young ladies in developing countries? 

For millions of girls and women around the world, periods mean much more than cramps and perhaps a monthly annoyance.  Many girls and women miss school or work because they do not have access to menstrual hygiene products (usually because they cannot afford them), their fear of staining their clothes in public is completely understandable. Others use "alternative solutions" , such as rags, newspaper or toilet paper, that are not absorbent, healthy or confortable. For young girls specially, missing up to 20% of their school time every month, often results in dropping out altogether.

Girls and women should not go through all this discomfort, stress and fear just because their bodies are doing exactly what they are meant to.

With Ruby Cup, we offer them a healthy, safe and long term solution, one product that offers up to 10 years of worry free periods. 

YBBG STYLE: What responses have you received regarding the benefit of the Ruby Cups? 

Our users in East Africa and Asia love to have the one product that belongs to them, that they can use every month, free of the stress of how to get the money that will allow them to manage their periods safely. The fact that is reusable also removes the disposal factor, that is a big issue in informal settlements and rural areas. They also like that it offers them privacy, since not having to ask for money for pads, or borrow toilet paper or worry about staining clothes means no one needs to know when they are on their period.

Our customers in Europe, the States and Australia love the fact that they are having a positive effect on the environment by saving the monthly waste of pads and tampons (every woman will go through around 12,000 in her lifetime). They find it more comfortable than pads and tampons and since many of them travel a lot and are always on the go, they enjoy being able to just keep their Ruby Cup in their handbag rather than having carry supplies around. 


A friend of mine has used menstrual cups for years. I received two from Ruby Cup in sizes medium and small. I have not yet tried them out, but I look forward to doing so soon.

Check out these young men and how they are helping their classmates out by stocking their school with feminine hygiene products. 


*Sponsored post: YBBG Style received a product at no cost in relation to this post.

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