Big Issue Vendor

Period poverty-busting Hey Girls products hit stores

Supermarket giants Waitrose and ASDA are now stocking Big Issue-backed Hey Girls period products

The Big Issue-backed Hey Girls period poverty campaign stepped up a gear this week with the launch of a new advert highlighting the shocking reality faced by many women and girls.

The ad, which ran in the Metro, invites readers to cut out their own sanitary towel from the newspaper page – highlighting the reality that one-in-10 girls in the UK cannot afford sanitary products and have resorted to using loo roll, socks or even newspaper.

Launching its range of sanitary products in in 80 Waitrose and 280 ASDA stores this week, Hey Girls was founded just eight months ago by Celia Hodson with the help of her two daughters, Kate and Becky. The social enterprise sells sanitary towels on a ‘buy one give one’ model – meaning for every pack purchased another is donated to a woman in need.

“It all started with a heated discussion between myself and my two daughters that results in a big hairy audacious goal,” Hodson told The Big Issue. “We simply wanted to work out if we could fix period poverty and what that would look like.”


The Big Issue vendors buy the magazines for £1.50 and sell them for £3. They are working and need your custom.

A £50,000 investment and mentorship from Big Issue Invest’s Power Up Scotland has helped bolster Hey Girls’ ability to grow. Bridging the gap between activism and retail, the enterprise is also a key partner in the Scottish government’s period poverty roll-out with free sanitary products to be made available to an estimated 18,800 Scottish women through foodbanks, women’s shelters and community centres.

“The supermarket listings prove that social enterprise can get into the mainstream while at the same time making the society we live in fairer and more equal,” said Kieran Daly, Scotland Manager for Big Issue Invest.


“We’re thrilled to be working with Aberdeen Standard Investments, The University of Edinburgh, Scottish Government and Brodies LLP. This unique partnership has brought creativity, technical skills and mentoring to early stage social ventures like Hey Girls, which adds value beyond the funding they receive.”

The team-up is the latest Big Issue-backed product to make its way into supermarket giants. The poverty-busting coffee from Change Please was introduced in more than 300 Sainsbury’s stores across the country in September last year.

You can pick up a multipack of the no-leak, chlorine and bleach free sanitary pads at For every box of pads purchased Hey Girls gives a box to someone in need.