It’s not news that periods and menstruation often feel like taboo topics, and that’s only in conversation. The experience itself can come with shame, embarrassment, and secrecy. Despite it being a very normal bodily process of half the world’s population, menstruation is still heavily stigmatized around the globe.
But the conversation is changing. By celebrating empowerment and encouraging menstrual health education, the way we talk about periods is radically shifting. Devoted to shattering the period stigma is 21-year-old SAGE MELLET, co-founder of Peach Pack, a subscription box service with menstrual empowerment at its core.
“I think generally there has been an increase in conversation, specifically in the online realm. However, when I speak to young people experiencing their period for the first time, there is still sense of embarrassment and shame. I hope that by having more period pages on Instagram and more brands — like Peach Pack — it’ll enable us to take ownership over our periods and have more open and honest discussions.”
The idea for the subscription box came to be when Mellet and best friend Alyssa Carp — later Mellet’s business partner and Peach Pack co-founder — were out for coffee with a friend. The topic of subscription-based businesses came up in conversation. “Being best friends and proud feminists, we always spoke about our periods and how insane it was that we felt like we couldn’t openly talk about these natural bodily processes. Combining our passion for breaking stigmas and the idea of subscription businesses, we thought, ‘Why not create a subscription pack that makes our time of the month more convenient whilst breaking stigmas at the same time?’”
Every Peach Pack is made of sustainable, biodegradable material. The subscriber chooses between tampons or pads — both from all-organic brands — and the box is accompanied by delicious tea and a mystery self-care item. Mellet admits that the process of putting together subscription boxes is something she’s still trying to figure out today.
116“What we’ve learned is that there is no setcriteria or method in order to create yourown business. As long as you have the vision and the right people supporting you,then the method can look however you want it to look.”
South Africa-born and sister of pop icon Troye Sivan, Mellet co-founded Peach Pack while earning her undergraduate degree in Media and Communications at the University of Melbourne. “To be completely honest, it has been a very difficult task,” she says on going to college while running a business, and the arduous work in creating a balance. “Whilst I was studying I was able to get tasks done, but I felt that in order to give Peach Pack my all I really needed to prioritize it, and not be afraid to do so.”
Longing to pour her whole heart into the growth of Peach Pack, Mellet resolved to take a semester off school. She and Carp went to live abroad in London for six months. Now, the two of them are in Los Angeles, preparing for their first international launch.
It’s no question that the Libra’s passion-fueled dedication and hard work on Peach Pack have proved fruitful in monumental ways. Among the most fulfilling parts of the journey are the online messages received from young people who say that Peach Pack has empowered them in taking ownership over their menstrual cycle. “It’s heartbreaking to even think that we’ve been conditioned to feel ashamed of having our periods. To get messages from so many different people and to have these vulnerable conversations...that’s really the aim of Peach Pack, and something we aim to continue to provide for many.”
In spite of her enamoring confidence and the community of empowerment she continues to grow, Mellet admits she wasn’t always this comfortable in conversation about periods. “Growing up, being one of the first girls in my year to get their period, I had a great sense of shame. This followed me throughout my life, and up until the development of Peach Pack, limited me from feeling like I could share my stories with my audience.” With constant support from her friend group and business partner best friend, Mellet continually finds the courage to be open and vulnerable. With her vulnerability comes the very heart of Peach Pack — comfortable conversations around menstrual health and breaking the period stigma.
“Feminism to me is about empowering and equalizing all people affected by systematic and patriarchal sexism. This manifests in many different ways, but one way in which I like to actualize the value is through creating supportive networks. Having supportive communities around you is an incredible way to empower and educate young people, and hopefully Peach Pack will be one of those communities that many can feel connected to and supported by.”
Keep on the lookout for Sage, Alyssa, and Peach Pack’s next big launch.