Sara Udin is a client, friend and absolute go getter and one for youth voices in celebrating on the podcast.
Sarah is the founder and CEO of Amala Periods, Cambodia’s first sustainable period underwear and education company.
She spoke to me about what it’s like being a Brit starting a business based in Cambodia.
“These were all huge things for me to both emotionally, and obviously commercially to overcome when starting a period business in a country where periods are not spoken about periods are not considered clean they are to do with your beauty and intelligence.
It’s shown me that the period of education is missing. And that’s why we’re going to provide it.
Connect with Sarah Here
You can reach out to Sarah and the team at Amala periods on
Amala Periods (@amala.periods) • Instagram photos and videos
Katherine Ann Byam 0:01
Sarah Udin is a client, friend, and absolute go getter, and one of four youth voices I’m celebrating on the podcast. She spoke to me about what it’s like being a Brit starting a business based in Cambodia. Listen to this clip now.
Sarah Udin 0:16
These were all huge things for me to both emotionally, and obviously commercially, overcome when starting a period business in a country where periods are not spoken about, periods are not considered clean, they are to do with your beauty and intelligence and all of the other things. Really for me, this has been a real big learning curve. And it’s shown me that the period education is missing. And that’s why we’re going to provide it. Another thing is that only one of the 15 girls that we interviewed could tell us why they got a period. So that again, was a huge factor for me when we said, actually, we’re not just going to make this a sustainable business that solves a waste problem, we’re going to make this a social impact change, change these women’s lives.
Katherine Ann Byam 1:00
This is season five, the great debates of our times, Season Five will be centred around the great debates. And we will be comparing and contrasting different viewpoints on various topics that are consuming the public discourse at present. The reason I’ve decided to take this approach is because we, or at least many of us, are losing the skill of debate. And I think this is an essential skill for us all to practice once more. I don’t see how we get to the point of saving the world and saving our planet. If we don’t know how to discuss our differences. I also think that the solution to most of our challenges is somewhere in the spectrum of views, but never a type of extreme. I will be working with guests to curate the content and discuss beforehand, I will understand their positions, their areas of genius, and navigate my questions around that so that the conversation is challenging and stimulating without being combative. I hope you enjoy season five of where ideas launch the Sustainable Innovation Podcast.
Today, my guest is Sarah Udin. She’s the founder and CEO of Amala periods, Cambodia’s first sustainable period underwear and education company, Sarah, welcome to where ideas launch. It’s such a pleasure to host you on this programme and to hear your story.
Sarah Udin 2:16
Thank you so much for having me, I feel absolutely honoured that you’ve invited me on as a guest.
Katherine Ann Byam 2:22
So how does a girl from Cambridge end up founding a startup in Cambodia? Tell us about your journey?
Sarah Udin 2:28
That’s a great question. Thank you. It’s a very, very random story and a very long story. So I’ll try and keep it nice and short and to the point, but, I don’t know from a very, very young age, I always knew that I was going to live abroad, or I always dreamed of living abroad, let’s say, I didn’t know it was going to happen. But I made it happen for myself. So I started learning foreign languages. When I was about three years old, I continued with that. And I always, I always knew that, that was going to be my way to leave England, was actually learning foreign languages. So I ended up studying a French and German degree, which really helped me build that confidence. But I actually started travelling alone when I was 16.
So I was travelling over to France, to Germany. And I’d been working since I was 13. So this was all money that I’d earnt and that this was all that I wanted to do with it. So I started coaching gymnastics when I was 13 years old. And it really opened a lot of doors to me. And it showed me that I can actually make decisions to visit places around the world that actually, I always just dreamed of. So I was, I feel very blessed that I had that opportunity. And I first came to Cambodia when I was 18.
So I did the classic gap year I had three jobs, I worked very hard to get enough money to travel the world and I did it. I came over to India, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and I absolutely fell in love with Cambodia. On that trip, I just, the language, the culture, it made me feel calm, it’s a more calm version of Thailand, but it’s a little bit more lively than Laos, say, and it just felt like somewhere that I knew I was going to come back to and I ended up coming back after studying abroad in Germany, I met some friends there, one of my friends had moved here. And so I said, of course, I’ll come visit you on holiday. That would be great. Thank you so much. So we came out, a group of the girls, and we had the best trip ever. And also just being able to see the lifestyle out here and realising that this dream was actually a reality for somebody that I knew. And this was something that’s no longer just a dream. It was something that was within my grasp.
So I came back home to England, and I carried on with my nine to five and I, to be honest with you, I was miserable. I actually got diagnosed with depression and anxiety at that time, and I realised that this was not the place for me. And it was a really, really tough decision. But having a friend out there really helped me. So I managed to book that flight and leave everything I knew and loved. And I didn’t have a return ticket and that was in January 2020 just before the pandemic, woho! It was a scary decision and at that point I wasn’t really sure if I should stay or not. So when I first arrived in Cambodia, I got a job as an English teacher. So I’ve actually done lots of different jobs. I’ve been a gymnatics coach, I’ve been a ski resort manager, I’ve been a wedding and events coordinator, I’ve been a data analyst for Amazon, I’ve been lots and lots of different things.
So I thought actually teaching is a good way for me to use these skills. Schools in Cambodia are run like businesses and it made me not very happy to be a part of it, because I didn’t feel like the education was being accessed by the children in the way that I wanted it to. So I basically wanted to find a way out of that. And I was talking to the TAs and the teachers at school about period panties, because I had tried them once before, and I was wearing them that day. And I was telling everybody about that in that nice, oversharing way I have, and nobody had heard of them. So I was quite confused by this. And I thought, Oh, what do you mean, nobody has heard of them, so I kind of explained them, I showed everybody, everybody seemed really interested by this product. And I thought, actually, this could be a possible opportunity for me, because this is a sustainable item and I’ve always dreamed of running a sustainable business myself, like this has been something that I’ve always wanted as my own baby. And I just thought this is something that makes sense.
So then that was basically where it started, I so, I researched a lot, I got some support from people like, of course, Katherine, and from Lara and I basically, I just started asking around and selling to my friends and selling at local markets. And that’s the point at which the business started to take off. So I couldn’t run a business alongside a full time teaching job. So I then switched back over to my coaching. So I then started a dance school, at the same time, I’ve been coaching gymnastics at the dance school, while running the business, and also coaching other sports in other locations around the city. And that’s kind of the short version of the random journey that brought me to being the CEO of Amala Periods.
Katherine Ann Byam 6:42
This is insane. Like, how old are you now, if you don’t mind me asking?
Sarah Udin 6:46
No, that’s fine. I turned 28.
Katherine Ann Byam 6:47
Right, and in that space of about 10 years, you’ve basically done like 10 jobs explored so many different aspects of yourself as well, finding out what you liked what you didn’t like. And I think this is such a great empowering story, both from a career perspective, but also from, you know, the sustainable transition perspective, and I think being in Cambodia is a bit of an eye opener on many different aspects of life. Very, very different from the UK. I’ve been there myself, roughly around 10 years ago, maybe. And I think it’s such a change and a shift from what we would expect. So I want to touch on something that you said, So you talked about the education system in Cambodia and being run like a business, etc? Would you say that it is tilting toward a more western standard of education? What are your thoughts on it?
Sarah Udin 7:37
So I would say the schools in Cambodia being run like businesses is kind of an independent issue, it just was the final trigger for me to realise that this was, I didn’t want to just fit into something that was set up for to make profit for somebody else, that was not actually supporting children in a good educational way, it was more of a profit building situation. And that’s not how I felt comfortable teaching. It also felt like we had to just tick a lot of boxes and take a lot of photos rather than actually teach the children. And so that’s also part of what I’ve put into the period education workshops is that I don’t want to do it so it’s just to tick boxes and to take photos for people and all of these things, because that’s how the education system worked.
So although I can’t say exactly that this was the trigger, what, I’ve, what I’m doing is I’m making sure to take all of this information from working in the schooling system in Cambodia to make sure that when we do our period education programmes, which is we’ve started doing now, we aren’t doing it in the standard Cambodian way. And we’re actually doing it in a much more dynamic, entertaining, fun, sports coaching style way, which makes people just much more comfortable about learning about this very taboo topic.
Katherine Ann Byam 8:44
And just in terms of the whole relationship with women’s health, in general, like I think if I were to speak for myself, and I’m a bit older than you, but I don’t think we received the level of education that you receive today in terms of period health and how to manage those things. It’s also because, you know, we’re learning more about the whole topic as well. But what would you say is one of the reasons for the big gap in knowledge that you found there?
Sarah Udin 9:11
I totally know what you mean, actually, by that, I would say it does feel a little bit like we are living in the past, in, not in a bad way, but it does feel like you know, the way that we live certain ways in Cambodia that still like lots of things that would have been acceptable in the 70s and 80s, in the UK, and in the western world, that is how we live over here now. And I think that the education system reflects that where there’s still things that are just not spoken about, there are just tick boxes that people have to fit into. And also women’s health is not spoken about because it’s not relevant because it’s not important as part of society, and it’s, it’s deemed to be shameful.
So it’s not something that is very important as part of the education system. I would definitely say that. Yeah, that’s a really interesting point. I was actually talking to one of my friends about that the other day, she said I’d never thought of it like that, but it’s literally like we’re living in the 70s like we are doing what our people like in the 70s were doing, but we’re doing it in the 2020s, this is strange, but I think that that is definitely reflected in the, in the gender equality and the way that women are viewed as well. So actually, I have a very short, little anecdote that I can tell you about from the other day.
So I went to the Miss Universe Cambodia event. And I, one of my friends was competing. So I went to support my friend. And I’m really pleased I went to support it. And I thought, it’s a very strange idea, this whole beauty pageant thing I’m not, I’m not 100% sure if I actually support the idea of it. But I’m very happy to support my friend. And she did an amazing job. But at the end of it, there was a little altercation. And there was basically a guy following one of the contestants around with his phone, and he was harassing her. And he was following her and shouting at her and nobody was doing anything. So I stepped in. And I stopped him from filming her. And I didn’t understand what was going on. And to me that, that was the most shocking thing in the world, because these, this is one of the women, I would have expected to actually have been able to say something and to have actually been able to stop this. But this was a really clear image for me about how this gender inequality is so still here and then when nobody else was willing to step in to stop this harassment, of a contestant that has just been celebrated on national television, and I was the only person that stepped in, it accidentally went viral on Tiktok as well. But at the same time, I still I stand by it, because I would much rather step in when I can see something like that happening.
Katherine Ann Byam 11:29
That’s insane. And again, yeah, it’s a great example of the challenges that you’re facing actually dealing with this. So I want to, I want to go directly into that question. I mean, how have you sort of adjusted and accommodated all the cultural learnings that you’ve had to have in order to run this business? Tell me a little bit about how that went?
Sarah Udin 11:49
So again, great question. I yeah, I’m not gonna lie. It’s been challenging. Of course, learning a new culture and learning a new language is always going to be challenging, especially when it’s very, very far away from your own because I am very much not Cambodian. And I don’t have any Cambodian cultural heritage or anything. My, my ancestors were Indian, but it’s not something that we actually carry in our family particularly. So learning the language during the pandemic, of course, has been the biggest struggle just because meeting people has been difficult. We’ve then kind of tried to counteract that by working with combined marketing teams and translators, which has been expensive, but then obviously worth it to connect the audience more authentically. But honestly, the biggest thing is that the cultural taboos, has been huge.
So even when I started talking about this, like some of the TAs were, too, they were too embarrassed to talk to me, even though they have spent, you know, all day every day hanging out with me. They know all about everything we do. We know everything about each other, that was still not something that they felt super confident until everybody was interested and everybody came over, and to have a look and things like that. What I found really interesting is that me and my business partner, we interviewed 15, Khmer women about their periods. So these were my students when I, was an English conversation class teacher. So adult students in tech, so they were very intelligent, very, you know, well, well established women and listening to them talk about the cultural taboos around periods was absolutely fascinating. So they said things like when you’re on your period, you’re not allowed to eat bitter foods, sour foods, spicy food, or salty food, or pickled or preserved food, and Cambodians favourite food is sour mango, with chilli and so they were, all it’s like, they were all crying about that they were like, I can’t believe my mum doesn’t let us eat this when we’re on our period, kind of thing.
So I thought that was really crazy. It’s like stopping us from eating chocolate in the western world, on our period, you’d be like, what! You can also not drink iced coffee or coconut, because this apparently might affect your period length, or heaviness, and it also can affect your beauty. So these are big cultural things that I had to, I really struggled with, and I was really shocked by when I was first talking about them. Apparently, as well, another one is that your period and your beauty are directly related. So you only can be beautiful if you have a healthy period, which I personally believe is a really, really toxic view, because actually your period is not necessarily reflective of anything like that, and your period can change in so many different ways for so many different reasons, that’s a, that’s a scary one, for sure. But for me, the most kind of powerful one was the one where they said when you get your period, you are now ready for marriage and children – like that’s it. That’s what happens once you’ve had your period, you are ready for marriage and children.
These were all huge things for me to, both emotionally and obviously commercially, overcome when starting a period business in a country where periods are not spoken about, periods are not considered clean, they are to do with your beauty and intelligence, and all of the other things that, there’s a lot of falsities around it as well. But actually, for me, this has been a real big learning curve. And it’s shown me that the period education is missing, and that’s why we’re going to provide it, another thing is that only one of the 15 girls that we interviewed could tell us why they got a period. So that again was a huge factor for me when we said actually we’re not just going to make this a sustainable business, that solves a waste problem, we’re going to make this a social impact thing and actually change, change these women’s lives for the better, and actually help them learn about their bodies. Because once you know about your body, you have so much more increased confidence, you can actually go to the doctor, if you know there’s a problem. If you’ve actually been told about it, all of these things that we don’t even consider. But when there is this, these cultural taboos around this natural process that’s happening, it really changes the way that people access information as well. So people just don’t have the information to access is the biggest problem. So that’s another thing that we’re trying to solve.
Katherine Ann Byam 15:33
Yeah. No, that’s great and the two things that you touched on that I think we haven’t yet covered. So just for the for the benefit of my listeners, can you share why period panties are a thing today?
Sarah Udin 15:44
That’s a very good point. Yeah, absolutely. So period, period pants. I actually don’t love that term period panties. But the, UK, if I say period pants in this country, people think I’m talking about trousers. So I will call them period panties, or period underwear. But basically, they are this really amazing system where it looks like a normal pair of underwear. But each one of the underwear has got this special four layer system, the top layer is moisture wicking, so it keeps you nice and dry. So wicks away the moisture. The second layer is odour proof. So it’ stops the smell. The third layer is super absorbent. And then the fourth layer is leak proof. So these four layers work together to keep you clean and dry for up to 12 hours.
This can be huge, especially for girls that, for example, can’t afford to buy pads to wear, and they can actually go to school for the whole day. These can also be huge for people that don’t want to create plastic waste, and also have any other problems with things inside their body or outside their body. So anybody that can’t use a tampon or doesn’t want to use a tampon for any reasons, the hugely beneficial solution as well. And in my opinion period underwear, period panties are better than reusable pads even because reusable pads move around. And as a person that does sports all day, every day, I need something that doesn’t move around when I am moving around as well. So that’s what period underwear is. I can also tell you kind of why I care about them so much as well, if you like I can tell you a little personal story. So for me period, underwear is such a passion because I’ve actually suffered from terrible periods for a very, very long time I started my period when I was 12.
And I was taking weeks off school from that time with really bad period pain, really heavy bleeding, really just a terrible experience. It gave me hormonal mood swings a lot of the time. And I’ve been on hormonal contraception since I was 12. Even despite this, I’ve had irregular erratic bleeding, sometimes up to two weeks at a time. And it’s just been horrendous in terms of obviously, self esteem, it doesn’t make you feel good when you can’t understand what’s happening to your body like this. But in terms of waste as well, this was huge, especially when I, in 2019 I read the Paris, the Paris treaty, and that was, that was a real turning point for me in terms of sustainability. It was before that, it had always been something that I was aware of, but for me, I was like in 2019 this is something I need to take charge of. So, I basically searched around and searched around and I found that you could have these period underwear and that saved me so much money and so much waste, it just, because when you suffer like that you can’t help but use so many tampons and so many pads, so for me period underwear was just an absolute lifesaver. I know that not everybody has such a terrible experience with their period, but it’s something that you don’t even realise how life changing it can be until you try it.
So that is basically the, for me as well though period underwear is so important because actually plastic pads and tampons are not a good solution. At the moment in Cambodia, over 80% of women use plastic pads. Tampons are not used over here, because if you use a tampon, then it’s considered to lose your virginity. So it’s not part of the culture to use tampons, so pads, I will, I can talk about pads. And in Cambodia alone there’s over 1 billion pads thrown away each year, one person can throw away up to 150 to 200 pads themselves per year. And 80% of a pad is made out of plastic. And these can take up to 800 years to decompose. So this is obviously a big issue. We need to be solving and period underwear as, is a solution to that. And it’s a really good solution that’s actually really good for your body as well. Because not only is plastic bad for the environment, surprise, plastic is bad for your body as well. So if you’re putting plastic pads up against your vulva for extended periods of time, it can actually lead to an increase in cancer and other terribly terrifying diseases. So actually, this is a very good solution in terms of vaginal health as well, especially if girls are using pads for a really long time. Bacterial infections, especially in a hot humid country like this, are rife. So it kind of solves all of the problems there’s, there’s no discomfort, you feel clean, you feel dry, your, your, the smell is protected. You can do all of the things.
Katherine Ann Byam 16:59
What would you say have been your successes so far?
Sarah Udin 19:53
I would say probably, obviously the biggest success would be, we’ve actually sold over 500 pairs of underwear since we started last year, so that is huge. This was exactly on target, for me, that was exactly the goal. And that was, I was really pleased about that. So that’s been huge. We also had a really, really successful first big donation event, where we have donated 60 pairs of underwear to a village in a place called Stone Minjae in, just outside of Phnom Penh, whereas basically, it’s a, it’s a village, run by the Cambodia Children’s Fund, and the world housing organisation, and it’s called the girls to Granny’s village. And there’s 200 females that live there, and they’re kind of from any age, up to Granny’s age. And they all live together in a community. And we thought that would be a really good first place for us to do our donations.
Just because that’s the safe space for us to talk about periods. And it’s a good place for us to make sure it’s a female safe environment. So we had such success. We had such a good time, we had a really successful period education workshop, and at the end, the girls all had questions about, you know, is this normal? Oh, my gosh, are you sure? And you could see the, the smiles on their faces just by saying, yeah, no, that’s normal, this is fine. And we realised then that that was a form that they just had never had, because a lot of these girls don’t necessarily live with their own parents as well. So they wouldn’t have had that conversation with their mum to say, Hey, Mum, is this normal? So that was, that felt really amazing to actually say, this is a way that we’re able to give back to our community. By providing this sustainable solution to people, we’re actually also able to put massive smiles on girls faces as well. So that’s been absolutely huge.
Now, another massive success that I had was actually when I expanded the team. And I am just gonna very quickly talk about my business partner, Angelique, who joined last year in October. So she’s a brand strategist and UX design consultant. And she’s from South Africa, she’s got experience running her own business. And she’s also worked as a teacher before, and she basically is in charge of everything creative. So she has been my brain behind the change from Athena to Aluna to Amala. And she’s basically now transformed us into a brand that really resonates with my audience. So that has been a huge success, as well as in the rebranding with Angelique has been huge. The only thing is, we still don’t have a Khmer team member, so we really, we really, really would love to have somebody Cambodian on our team as well, because it doesn’t feel right that we’re trying to connect with a Cambodian audience without actually having people on the team. So we’ve been working with our Cambodian friends, our Khmer friends, we still haven’t found that, you know, that trifecta effect, we haven’t found our, the missing piece of our triangle.
Katherine Ann Byam 22:28
Congratulations. I think that’s really great news, and very proud of your success, and happy to have seen it grow. Because I’ve been working with you for just under a year, I guess is for some time.
Sarah Udin 22:38
I think that’s when I joined the community, was when I was like, Oh, I’m gonna be a woman in sustainable business. And my friend Decra was part of the group. And so she recommended, so yeah, so you’ve been on this journey with me the whole time. And you’ve watched it go from Athena to Aluna to Amala. And now we are definitely sticking with Amala. Because the Amala means clean, or lack of impure, in Sanskrit. So yeah, that one really resonates with me and the audience so much.
Katherine Ann Byam 23:05
That’s really great. So the next question is going to take us to another angle of your experience in Cambodia and some, and around the whole sustainability topic. Now, just to, for the audience listening, I’ve also been to Cambodia just once, I went for a weekend to Siem Reap, because I heard I had to see Angkor Wat if I was in that area. So I flew from Malaysia to Cambodia. And I was shocked when I arrived because we stayed in this five star hotel, very plush place with loads of people waiting and serving you. And when you looked out the window across the street, there was this floating village where the rest of the people lived without proper sanitation, without a lot of things that you would consider very normal in the West, in the Western world. And I couldn’t understand how this could coexist. How this place of abject poverty can coexist with this five star hotel, like it made no sense to me at all that this could be happening. And then we took a bus journey from Siem Reap route to Phnom Penh and I have never seen so much waste on the streets, as in Cambodia, at that time, I mean, I’m sure there are other places that that struggle as well with this, but I was really shocked and impressed, in a bad way perhaps, of the level of waste and rubbish and lack of cleanliness, as we talk about, about being clean. So I wanted to touch on this because I think you being there in Cambodia, in this time is relevant for so many reasons, I wanted you to reflect on what you’ve seen in terms of big corporations and how are they being socially relevant to the people of Cambodia today?
Sarah Udin 24:51
That is, yeah, absolutely, spot on. I would say I had a very similar experience. I first came to Cambodia nine years ago and I was absolutely shocked by the amount of trash. But then I, I don’t remember it being any more than there was in Thailand or in Laos, I just remember being shocked in general, how much trash there was this side of the world. At that time now, obviously, it’s now nine years later, and lots has changed. But I am going to be honest with you, the trash problem hasn’t really changed. They have only recently started with waste management companies here in the city of Phnom Penh, which is, of course, the capital city of the country. And there was actually recently a strike. So within the last year, there was just a strike, and all the trash collectors stopped working. And you really saw the problem at that point, because they didn’t collect trash for a week. And there were piles bigger than houses, it was extremely shocking, because Cambodia is a dumping ground for the rest of the world as well as its own citizens. So recycled waste, it doesn’t get recycled, it gets shipped to Cambodia, and it gets dumped in Cambodia anywhere, it gets dumped on the side of the streets in Cambodia.
So there’s already a problem. And so I think that, I don’t know this, but my personal opinion is that maybe when you’re overloaded with that amount of trash, it is very difficult to see how your own personal impact can or your, your own personal choices can make an impact. Because actually, if there’s piles of trash bigger than your house, and you’re thinking about whether or not you should try and recycle that one plastic bottle, it’s a really, really confusing feeling. Because we all know, we should, we should be creating the least waste possible, we need to be absolutely reducing, reducing, reducing, but it’s really difficult when there is no running water that’s drinkable. And your only option is to go and buy a bottle that has been created by these big corporations that just don’t care and could actually be creating different options, maybe reusable fountains and reusable, there are solutions possible that they could choose to channel their money into instead, like setting up vending machines that actually you just fill your bottle, and you could even have branded everything in that same way.
But they’re, I don’t know, that’s, that’s a little bit of a tangent anyway. But that’s just a idea. But I would say yeah, absolutely. The waste management problem is still huge. And recycling, there is only one glass recycling plant in the whole city, in the whole country. And so we have to ship it from Phnom Penh. And we have to pay for that. So those are kind of big issues. But in terms of big corporations, I would say stop sending your waste to Cambodia, please stop creating things that are wasteful, because when they are the only option available, it’s not fair, it’s really not fair make make there be different options available for people that don’t have access to running water and don’t have access to drinking water. Don’t give the, this as the only option. I would say that basically the infrastructure in Cambodia is amazing. It just needs a lot of investment. And Cambodia in general needs a lot of investment it needs a lot of development it is still very much a developing country in development. And there’s loads of growth opportunities here. But people need to actually invest in things that are going to be sustainable, long term. Because at the moment, there is a throwaway culture here. And it’s being perpetuated by these big corporations that are just saying by this, quick, try and become more like the West, quick, when actually this is an opportunity for big corporations to choose to do it a different way. So they could choose to actually say, hey, we’ve seen how much we’ve messed up over here in the UK and in France and in Germany and in the US and in Australia. How about this time, we do it differently. And we don’t destroy the environment, every single aspect just by trying to, because you can still make profit, this is the thing, they can still make profit without destroying the environment. So maybe those are the, I got more emotional about that than I thought I would actually.
Katherine Ann Byam 28:39
I totally support your points, when I see big corporations trying to make change and come up with something innovative and pioneering etc. They start in places like Japan and South Korea more because they’re trendsetting, then because they’re relevant. And there’s so many relevant situations that we can do tests in and we can change the protocols. And we can do something that really allows people to live a more fruitful life without going through the same loops that we went through in the west of learning, right. And it’s disappointing that it’s not pursued enough. So I totally support you. The other thing I want to sort of pivot to is if you could receive any funding now, what would you prioritise?
Sarah Udin 29:19
Haha, I mean, I have a list longer than my arm obviously, of all of the things that I would need to prioritise. But I don’t know, I think probably the first in my opinion, the first thing that I would like to properly invest in if we got a big amount would be investing in designing and manufacturing our own period underwear here, because that obviously leads to job creation that’s better controll of the quality, much more increased profit margins and way more sustainable in terms of packaging, shipping, all of the things that I would be in full control of, so that would be my main priority, and that’s something that we are definitely talking about with other local sustainable businesses in Cambodia. So we have started that conversation. We are very excited, we are now just trying to find the funding for. And the other thing we are looking for is actually we’re planning on developing an English and Khmer period app to make our information much more accessible. So that would be another thing that we, would put some investment money into. Because I think that those are really the key points, it’s making sure that we’re being the most ethical and sustainable we possibly can be and actually creating this education platform that actually does serve the community in a productive way. So those would be my main priorities. And also, being able to pay us some salaries at some point might be nice perhaps, purchasing some stock in bulk, hiring a Khmer person, I can go on. Those would be I think, the most exciting things to actually spend the money on, and they would definitely be some of our priorities as a team.
Katherine Ann Byam 30:46
Perfect. So what I want to ask now, how could my listeners support you given that the majority of my listeners are not, yet, Cambodian? Maybe I will get some after this interview.
Sarah Udin 30:56
Absolutely. I mean, the best way to probably support us from the UK is talking to people about sustainable periods. That’s, that’s our message is let’s have sustainable periods. But for real for real, you can go to our website, www dot Amala periods.com. We have a donation button that’s there and available. We are also planning on shipping worldwide shortly. So we, once we have that all set up on the website, you will be able to purchase our sustainable period products on our website. So we will have period underwear, reusable pads, cups, and also waterproof pouches for all of those things. And they will all be available and beautiful and sustainable. And available for sale online. You can also like us on Facebook and Instagram. And we will soon be releasing a Tik Tok. So you can also find us on there. And any kind of liking, sharing, supporting, commenting is always really helpful for small businesses. So anything like that would be amazing.
Katherine Ann Byam 31:53
Wonderful, Sarah, it’s been such a pleasure to have you. I have loved your story and your transformation and your growth over the last year. And I just want to see it continue. So all the best wishes. We’re going to chat again very soon this week. But, But best of luck for the future.
Sarah Udin 32:09
Thank you so much. And Katherine, I honestly, I must say I couldn’t have done it without you. You have been an absolute rock in my journey on this. So thank you so much.
Katherine Ann Byam 32:17
This podcast is brought to you today by the brand new women in sustainable business awards that kicks off in 2023. If you’re a business owner who’s starting a business with principles of sustainability in mind, and you want to preserve some lost skills, some handcraftin, artisinal work, or you’re a social media manager supporting purposel driven brands, or you’re creating fashion or something that is relevant to the sustainability and green transformation. You are more than welcome to join us and to get involved in these awards. Check out our group on Facebook women in sustainable business, or follow the podcast where ideas launch on Instagram to find out more.