Sandra Parker, known for her sense of style, connecting others, and philanthropy, left the corporate world during the pandemic, only to create her passion company: Justine Haines – helping teens and women alike to navigate the intricate world of menstruation.
I had the chance to interview Sandra, here’s what she had to say about her new baby:
Petrona: So tell me about the name of your brand, loved how you explained it to me the first time:
Sandra: During the Covid isolation, quarantine, and much reflection, I decided that I was going to start my own company. After 25 years managing and marketing for large corporations, it was time that I use that precious expertise for myself rather than helping others make those millions! The pandemic made me delve deeper into the sustainability cause and how much we are overconsuming in general. Having 6 young nieces, I had the idea for a period panty for a while. I had seen some being advertise but to an older demographic. I thought: wouldn’t it be just awesome if my nieces started wearing these and NEVER used disposables in their lifetimes? And then, I began calculating how much money they would save, but mostly, how much LESS WASTE they would produce! Think about it: a woman will have her period for 35 years x 12 months x 6 days x 8 disposables =a whopping 20, 160 products in a landfill for ONE PERSON! Costing over 15k!
Petrona: How did you come up with the name?
Sandra: Finding the name for the company was the easiest part! I combined the names of the 2 loves in my life! Haines is my husband’s name. People always say it reminds them of underwear (Hanes reference) Justine: from my son Justin! He is a millennial. I thought that the name Justine represents a nice ‘girl next door’, the type that would be your friend, give you advice! She was a perfect girl to represent the company. I could picture the name JUSTINE HAINES being worn on underwear! I immediately registered the company, bought the domain, and Justine Haines was born!
Petrona: What are some of the pitfalls to avoid when educating young girls on the importance of health when it comes to their periods?
Sandra: I answer questions DAILY on QUORA.com and am blown away by the ignorance and misinformation many young girls have(even with all this access to information) My most frequently asked questions by young teenagers are: how do I HIDE my periods from my parents? How do I STOP or shorten my period? And tons of questions from girls who haven’t had a period for months and wonder if it’s normal – (sometimes for 3-6 months) This blows my mind. These young girls are just NOT getting the information. So, who is educating them about what products to use? And by the way, these questions ALL come from North America! Not 3rd world countries! Shocking, isn’t it?
Petrona: I have tried ecological period underwear before, the ones you throw away after a certain amount of usage, what makes your brand different? Do we keep the underwear permanently? Or do we throw it away after a certain amount of usage, and purchase new ones?
Sandra: If you care correctly for your period panties, they should last for 2-3 years. To care for them, you rinse the blood out in cold water or soak in water, then toss in the wash in cold, hang to dry, voila! They will stay absorbent and retain their hypoallergenic properties for several washes(years). Ideally, you should have a 5-7 panty set that you use for each cycle, which you can couple with reusable pads. If one was to have just 2 underwear for example, that she was washing daily and wearing multiple times during her cycle, it could shorten the lifespan.
Petrona: Do you think that this might be a solution to sustainability?
Sandra: This is definitely a step in the right direction if you imagine the waste being produced to manufacture and dispose of $15,000 of disposables for EVERY woman on the planet? NO! This needs to stop! Imagine going to the grocery store WITHOUT your reusable shopping bag? Nope, you can’t!! One day, girls will see disposables as outdated as the plastic bags stores used to give out!
Petrona: Where can your product be purchased?
Sandra: You can see our full inventory and purchase on our site justinehaines.com sizes xs-7x, ships for FREE international coupons and promotions on-site while you’re there, have a look at our health blogs! We know periods!