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Susan Barnes: The dignity advocate

Updated: Apr 23, 2019




Susan Barnes @susanbarnes susanbarnes is the founder of Subz Pants and Pads @Subzpads@SubzSupporter, a business manufacturing and distributing packs of sustainable and reusable panties and pads to girls. The idea was born out of Sue’s desire to solve the lack of access to sanitary pads experienced by South African girls, which results in them missing out on school and causes a loss of dignity.

She first became aware of the need when her daughter came home from school with a letter asking for donations of sanitary pads for girls that cannot afford it. These girls miss out on 5 days of school every month, equating to about one term per year.

With her fashion design experience, she designed and developed a washable sanitary pad that clips onto a panty. The Subz panties and pads have been patented, SABS absorbency approved and endorsed by gynaecologist and pharmacist.

Sue has also launched a social entrepreneurship venture, Project Dignity @subz_pads @dignityforwomen with the aim of reducing absenteeism and dropout rates in schools and increasing opportunities for girls to complete their education with dignity.

We are inspired by Sue’s story because she used her fashion design skills to solve a problem that affects millions of young girls on a monthly basis. Through her solution, she gives them dignity and the opportunity to invest in their education and reach their full potential.

Sue tells us that although she considers herself privileged, her two beautiful daughters both have learning difficulties. This has humbled her and taught her to love people for who they are and not what they are.

Featured artist: Joshua Pearse @artjosh

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