VMLY&R tackles menstrual poverty with sewing studio, making sanitary pads with innovative designs

The ‘Proud Legacy’ studio, opened by WaterAid in Colombia, addresses both practical and social obstacles around menstruation

Published On
Apr 05, 2023
Sanitary pads designed by VMLY&R that are being sewn in the Proud Legacy studio in Colombia

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One in every two women in vulnerable communities in Colombia live in menstrual poverty, with sanitary pad expenses exceeding their daily income by 148%. In addition, the stigma around menstruation and a lack of education causes young women to skip almost 20% of school days.

VMLY&R is addressing both issues with “Proud Legacy,” a sewing studio that is teaching three generations of women to sew their own sanitary pads—with unique health-forward designs—and provide a safe space from menstruation stigma. 

The project is a partnership with WaterAid. VMLY&R’s designs for the sanitary pads use fabric patterns with a blood color shade guide to help identify health conditions.


“‘Proud Legacy’ is not just about promoting action but creating a better future,” said Julián Núñez, chief creative officer of VMLY&R Colombia. “By fighting menstrual poverty in Tomarrazon, we are ensuring that every woman has access to their basic menstrual rights and building a foundation for a more equitable and empowered society. With this idea, we are proud of the transformation and changes in women’s life, inspiring their passion that continues working towards a world where everyone has access to the resources they need to thrive.”

WaterAid sanitary pads sewn at the Proud Legacy studio in Colombia

WaterAid sanitary pads sewn at the Proud Legacy studio in Colombia

WaterAid sanitary pads sewn at the Proud Legacy studio in Colombia

“We all have the right to live without fear. Losing the fear of our own body is the first step,” added Natalia León, country director of WaterAid Colombia. “Nothing that naturally happens in our bodies makes us unworthy. Honoring the natural is destiny. Educating ourselves on the subject is the way. Without knowledge, there is fear; with fear, there will never be dignity; without water, there is no freedom. Today we raise our voices in Colombia for a life where our body is respected and being a woman is a source of pride.”


Apr 05, 2023
Client :
Agency :
Catalina Sanchez
Global Chief Creative Officer :
Debbi Vandeven
CCO & President :
Nino Goldberg
Julián Núñez
Executive Creative Director :
Andrés Bolivar
Executive Creative Director :
Cristian Forero Yusti
Copywriter :
Sara Vega Mateus
Art Director :
Catalina Reyes
Copywriter :
Daniela Niño
Executive Creative Director :
Santiago Cuesta
Gustavo Hurtado
Growth Director :
Adriana Gaitán
Strategy :
Sebastián Dávila
VP Client Engagement :
Juan David González
Executive Director Global Creative :
Lauren Lafranz
Executive Business Director :
Sebastian Moreno
Copywriter :
Leonardo Jiménez
Art Director :
Brahian Santafé
Art Director :
David Perilla
Art Director :
Andrés Niño
Graphic Designer :
David Núñez
Graphic Designer :
Diana Orjuela
Account Executive :
Daniela Mosquera
Audio Producer :
Álvaro Henao
Edition :
Jhon Rodríguez
3D / Motion Graphic Artist :
Juan Cardenas
Colorist :
Ismael Garzón
Edition :
Manuel Mora
English VO Talent :
Natalia Polania
Spanish VO Talent :
Loren Pérez
Director :
Natalia León
Communications :
María Paula Gómez
Artist :
Martina Avellaneda
Fabric Pattern Artist :
Viviana Castañeda Márquez
Producer :
Juan Gabriel Lopez
Director :
Julio Miguel
General Producer :
Juan Lerner
Eduali Pirela
Production :
Camera :
Felipe Ramírez
Animation House :
Animator :
Camilo Rojas
Producer :
Dana Magallan
Music Director :
Camilo Lucena

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