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This campaign was a success! We now ship our award winning applicator, organic tampons, and reusable pads globally through our website.
This campaign was a success! We now ship our award winning applicator, organic tampons, and reusable pads globally through our website.
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2,251 backers pledged £55,913 to help bring this project to life.
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D. | The first reusable tampon applicator.

£55,913

2,251

What is a prototype?

A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:

Proof of Concept

Explorations that test ideas and functionality.

Functional Prototype

Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.

Appearance Prototype

Looks like the final product, but is not functional.

Design Prototype

Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.

Production Prototype

Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.

Project supporting material callout image

Prototype Gallery

These photos and videos provide a detailed look at this project’s development.

D is a reusable tampon applicator. It uses self-cleaning technology so you can enjoy the comfort of an applicator without the plastic waste.

Alec and I used to sell period products to women around the UK. The more we sold, the more we realised the enormous waste coming from these small everyday items. We were selling reusable alternatives on our site but no one was buying them. Why not? We dug deeper and discovered that the habit change was one of the biggest barriers to women switching to more sustainable alternatives. We wanted to make it easy.

So we stopped selling tampons, took a deep breath, and decided to tackle the problem ourselves. This is our story so far, and we'd love Kickstarter's help bringing D to life.

After 14 months, we now have a fully functioning prototype. We've teamed up with medical engineers to ensure D is not only hygienic, but the most comfortable applicator you'll ever use.

Yes, we said antimicrobial. D contains advanced Saniconcentrates™ that work on a molecular level giving the Mediprene® material antiseptic and antimicrobial characteristics.

These properties last D's lifetime and the materials are proven by test according to ISO 22196 and JIS Z 2801 standard.

D is made of just two parts and a lid, so it couldn't be simpler.

While designing D, we aimed to improve every aspect of current disposable applicators. It's packed full of features that make it 100% keepable.

EXTRA CARE

D is not a medical device, but we wanted it to be totally safe and hygienic... so designed it to medical standards anyway. It's passed:

Cytotoxicity tests according to ISO 10993-5 Biocompatibility tests according to ISO 10993-10 ISO 10993-11 (Acute Systemic Toxicity) and USP Class VI.

Due to D's antimicrobial technology, cleaning it couldn't be easier. In any washroom it's the same - just wipe, rinse, and go.

Each D comes with its own storage tin, travel pouch, and 6 of our own DAME organic tampons.

TRAVEL POUCH DESIGN

Made from sustainable organic cotton, breathable, and convenient.

ORGANIC TAMPONS

We engrain sustainability in all we do. With every D you get 6 DAME organic tampons, so you're ready to go from the start. The tampons are:

  • bleach free
  • rayon free
  • pesticide free
  • fragrance free
  • biodegradable
  • 100% organic

... and while we're on the topic, our packaging is fully compostable and resealable. No more big boxes exploding in bags.

PACKAGING & STORAGE TIN DESIGN

Materials matter, so your tin can be reused to store your tampons - no more ugly boxes in your bathroom.

The tin can be reused time and again to store your tampons.

WITH YOU ALL THE WAY

We believe in building products for life - building relationships even more so. If you ever need to replace a part of your D, you can send it in to us and we'll replace it free of charge. 

DAME was founded by Celia Pool and Alec Mills. This is us...

OUR VALUES

We're on a mission to to reduce waste from everyday products, without compromising on performance or beauty. Period products are just the start.

We're rethinking the bathroom. D is the start of a whole range of sustainable products that eliminate plastic and enrich our lives.

Having won the B Corp Hackathon for Best Sustainable Business idea, it's great to know there are many people who share our vision.

Like all ideas, we've needed help along the way and have built a community of amazing women who share our vision. We couldn't have done it without their awesome support:

We're all about women, they've been key at every stage of the process. (Our intended female engineer was on maternity leave - so we started a campaign to get more female engineers. Why not.)

We've been working on this project for over a year now, hit all the big milestones, and it's getting exciting.

We need Kickstarter's help and have some great rewards for everyone who supports us. 

DON'T HAVE A VAGINA? WHO CARES!

If you don't use tampons we've made a special reward for you. Our GIVE A DAME reward allows you to give a D to someone you know would love one, or to the women supported by our charity partner, Bloody Good Period

So buck the trend - be a badass. Plastic is everyone’s problem. Support a woman and get excited, you're changing an industry!

MOULD TOOLS

We've sourced our tool makers and manufacturer already. We wanted to be on top of the process so have gone British, with scope to expand production when we see fit.

ORDER PACKAGING

Whilst we pride ourselves in reducing packaging, we still need to order the tin and bags. They've all been designed, sized up, and sourced. We even have samples... just need to pull the trigger.

PRODUCTION & ASSEMBLY

After tooling and packaging, we're production-ready and can start shipping Ds to women around the world.

... for even getting this far. We're so grateful for any support, but particularly to the Kickstarter community for helping bring D to life and preventing a bloody waste of plastic.

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WE'VE ALREADY HAD SOME GREAT PRESS:

   

Risks and challenges

No one wants to see a good idea executed poorly, especially when it's the first of its kind. We have worked extremely hard to get D ready for Kickstarter and it's designed for mass manufacturing in mind, but here are what we see as the risks:

MANUFACTURING: Creating the tooling to manufacture a product is costly and requires expert knowledge to get it right. Whilst we have our engineers on board to who have valuable experience, there can often be delays with making the tool. To reduce any risk of this, we're using trusted toolers and manufacturers who we have already sourced, as well as booking in moulding time well in advance.

PRODUCT ADJUSTMENTS: Whilst you probably think this is the sexiest thing you've ever seen, we've seen it in close quarters for a long time and so can see the need for minor adjustments. Pre-production prototypes are made to test and refine the product and allow us to incorporate our adjustments and those suggested by experienced manufacturing partners. These will always be for the benefit of you, the consumer, and we will let you know exactly how and why any are made. Small things like the lid click not being clicky enough, or the logo being too close to the edge of the lid... you know - details.

FULFILLMENT: Sometimes things go awry that can’t be planned for: a supplier misses a deadline, a machine breaks down, or a shipment gets lost. Those things could cause a delay. To minimise the possibility of manufacturing setbacks we will enter the manufacturing stage with at least one back-up supplier for each component pre-located and our engineers will help ensure smooth sailing from our suppliers and factories. We will also be fulfilling the orders in-house to start with to ensure we're totally on top of it. No better way to know your process than to do it first hand.

We will be working with manufacturers who have literally decades of experience delivering excellent products to medical standard. There are always road bumps, but we have a great team around us who all have an overall mission of making the best possible product for you, our DAMErs.

Any pledge amount brings us a little closer to our goal and making D a reality. Please help us make history by creating the first major innovation in tampons for 80 years. Click ‘Back This Project’ button at the top of the page, or help us spread the word by sharing our page.

We're eternally grateful, and look forward to happy days ahead, free from bloody plastic.

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Funding period

- (30 days)

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