If you scroll through NinetyEight’s Instagram, you’ll notice we regularly have a “that time of the month” post to talk about Hygiene U Give. But what exactly is Hygiene U Give?
I can’t tell you that story without telling you about my first time working with Bryant, back when we were juniors in college. It was our New World of Branding and Advertising class, the first class of the M-School curriculum. We were already nervous about impressing our professors, and then we heard about the assignment: Positively impact at least 1,000 lives through a meaningful product and campaign.
Simple, right? 😅
We brainstormed for hours with our other group mates. Finally, H.U.G. was born after we mapped out where our group’s values intersected: democratizing basic necessities, sustainability, and helping out the less fortunate in a community outside our own. However, when we approached our professors with Hygiene U Give, we were told to choose any problem besides this one, in fear that we would exclude men from the conversation.
We were pissed. In true Gen-Z fashion, we ran with it. And so, H.U.G. was born.
After winning $2k in funding from TOMS Shoes and an extra $1.5k on GoFundMe, we began our activations - all meant to fund hygiene packs for the Downtown Women’s Shelter in Los Angeles. This included:
- Selling t-shirts with our branding on it
- “Pinky Promises” awareness campaign, where we painted over 200+ pinky nails red (even mens’!) and had people “pledging” to fight the stigma every day
- Awareness & donation parties at LMU’s on-campus bar, where you could “buy a beer” for someone and fund a H.U.G. pack at the same time
- Presenting to every LMU Panhellenic chapter and partnering with sororities to raise funds and donations
- Drafting a bill for ASLMU Senate petitioning for free feminine hygiene products in public campus restrooms, which eventually came into fruition a year later
We also taught people about the Pink Tax in an unconventional way. This is how people reacted when they realized how f*cked up the stigma around menstruation is: