The women behind the flourishing Aotearoa-based period product company Hello are ecstatic after their flagship 'Hello Cup' was named the "best menstrual cup" in the world by a major international magazine - a bloody fab achievement.
US-based fashion and entertainment publication Cosmopolitan ranked the Hello Cup - an eco-friendly alternative to tampons and sanitary pads - number one in its Holy Grail Beauty Awards due to the cup's comfortability and sustainability.
Launched in December 2017, Hello (stylised as Hello.) is a New Zealand-based sustainable period care company that is now considered an international leader in the industry. Hello founders Robyn McLean and Mary Bond, a registered nurse, say the recognition feels "surreal", noting that Cosmo's Holy Grail Beauty Awards are "a pretty big deal".
"Getting an email to say our Hello Cup has been judged the best menstrual cup was pretty surreal," said McLean.
The Hello Cup was the only sustainable period product chosen by the Cosmopolitan judges, one of whom noted that it the menstrual cup is "super comfortable" to wear.
"Besides the fact that I've saved a fortune not buying tampons, this little cup is actually super comfortable and highly sustainable. Good for my body and the Earth," the judge said.
The panel spent months trialling different products from around the world as part of the judging process, with McLean acknowledging the judges "know their stuff" in the vast and ever-evolving beauty industry.
The award-winning Hello Cup, which is manufactured in New Zealand, is said to have amassed a loyal fan base for its durability, comfort and high-quality, medical-grade materials. The cups, which can be reused for years and worn for eight to 12 hours at a time, hold three times more than regular tampons and pads, are hypoallergenic and fully recyclable - making them a zero-waste option. Hello Cups have won several awards to date, including Gold at the Best Design Awards.
Earlier this year, Hello released its latest product, the Hello Disc - a reusable menstrual disc that can be worn during intercourse for no-mess sex. Unlike other menstrual discs, the Hello Disc features a double-looped tab making removal quick and painless.
McLean said there is no doubt that sustainable period products are the way of the future.
"They are better for the user, better for the planet, and save the user money because they last for so long."
And Hello isn't the only pioneering period care company making waves out of Aotearoa. In 2018, two women in Te Atatu launched New Zealand's first period underwear company, I am Eva, and created a pair of nifty knickers that do the work of two tampons.
New Zealand brand MyCup also offers locally made menstrual cups, made out of medical-grade silicone.