Amala Aims to Empower Women About Menstruation

Amala Periods offers environmentally-friendly and empowering reusable period panties, with the company’s main aim to educate Cambodian women on their menstrual cycle
Amala’ reusable period panty product
Amala’ reusable period panty product

Amala Periods was founded with the aim of raising awareness about women’s menstrual cycles and providing an environmentally-friendly, comfortable option. Now the founder wants to roll out educational programs nationwide. 

According to the company, “Learning about your period is vital. So, not being shy about it means that the more you learn about it, the more you feel confident to use quality products.”

Amala was founded in 2021 to empower women to make healthier choices for their body during their period while caring for the environment. Education is also an important factor for the company. It believes that people need to understand the importance of plastic and toxin-free periods without any chemicals, both for their bodies and the environment.

“Our products are a win-win for everyone.”

The three female co-founders were born abroad, but own the Cambodia-based business to support Cambodian women with healthcare during their monthly period. Their reusable period panty products offer up to eight hours of leak-proof period protection and come in a variety of colours, styles, and absorbency levels.

Sarah Udin, 29, from England, studied French and German for her Bachelor's degree and went on to found Amala Period. The CEO said, “As a founder, I’ve done everything, including selling and financing, business development, and building more partnerships and cooperation, which is called the operation work.” She has been running the business in Cambodia for three years.

Angelique Delamere, 28, of South Africa, is talented in creative brand communication. She came to Cambodia in 2019 and is a co-founder and head of product at Amala Period. She plays a vital role in creativity as a designer, so she keeps improving products and designing new styles of underwear. She also works on website preparation to promote the products’ brand.

Angelique said,

“We consider Cambodia to be our home, so anything that helps to improve and develop society, we will do it.”

Allisa Lim, 25, a Cambodian who grew up in Canada, visited the nation annually to learn about Cambodian culture and health care. She has a lot of experience regarding period project awareness. Now she is part of Amala as its marketing manager. She does content marketing, develops product roadmap, and facilitates workshop projects with customers.

Amala means 'without impurity' and aims to break the taboos and shame around periods by promoting a more sustainable and healthy approach to managing menstrual health.

The mission is to create a culture of shame-free, eco-conscious menstruation in Cambodia by providing accessible, high-quality, sustainable period products and period education, empowering those who menstruate to make healthier choices for both their bodies and the planet.

The journey to own Amala 

Sarah said, “It has been a long journey to create this business. When I first came to Cambodia while I was working, I had a bad period. It was the biggest challenge not only for me, but for other people as well. After using plastic products for years, it was bad for my body, my expenses and the environment.”

So, she set off on a mission to find better solutions by researching into long periods, and how she could prevent them. At the same time, she noticed that most Cambodians did not have much understanding about periods and realised that she could do something beneficial for herself and society.

The reason why she chose Cambodia to launch Amala is because she sees there are good conditions for starting a business in the developing nation. She believes she can provide better opportunities for people, especially youth who are becoming more educated, fostering better lifestyles.  

Sarah told Kiripost, “During that time, we imported products from China to test the market in Cambodia because, as we know, there are many Chinese products everywhere, and we aren’t knowledgeable about Cambodian culture and the daily needs in terms of quality and expense.”

After they found their unique product offering in 2021, they started to carry out further research and design more styles, as well as learn from specialists on how to approach the topic sensitively without any investment, before launching the product, proudly labelling them “Made in Cambodia”.

Angelique added, “I joined the business because all Amala products guarantee quality and sustainability for the environment because it helps women to have a better period, especially allowing them to stay in school without worrying about changing pads.”

“One hundred percent of all materials used in Amala's works do not have any negative impact on users. Even now, we still seek more women’s struggles in Cambodia culturally because mental health in Cambodia is very different from others and we want to improve more positive outcomes,” she said.

Amala has now partnered with Green Lady Cambodia, which offers educational consulting services on facilitating menstrual, sexual and reproductive health classrooms to bring people reusable pads. 

The absorbent period underwear can also be worn with a menstrual cup to provide an extra layer of protection. These are better than disposable pads and tampons that may include harmful plastics, chemicals, and fragrances. These can contribute to menstrual health issues such as skin reactions and inflammation, she said.

Angelique added that many girls during their period feel uncomfortable doing activities because they are afraid leaking blood will stain their skirts and can result in them not being able to focus on tasks. 

Promoting products confidently 

The ‘Breaking the Silence’ customised workshops aim to start conversations on shame-free, eco-conscious menstruation in Cambodia as the topic of menstruation is still seen as taboo. 

“Those who menstruate often lack a basic understanding of what is happening to their bodies. We aim to break the silence by fostering an open and honest conversation in a safe, shame-free environment,” Sarah said.

“By doing so, we hope to empower those who menstruate to take ownership of their bodies and make informed decisions about their menstrual health and well-being.”

When Amala first launched, its only customers were the founders’ friends, so they prioritised education because they needed women to understand what the products are. Therefore, it took more time to get support. 

Sarah added, “We recognise that different groups have unique needs when it comes to menstrual health education. This is why each workshop is customised to meet the specific requirements of each group by offering workshops for schools, businesses, factories, and local NGOs.”

The process of the workshop consists of tailored presentations that deeply connect with participants, sparking meaningful conversations, showcasing the diverse range of period products and how to use them correctly, and engaging games that encourage open discussions and empower the sharing of personal experiences.

After a few months of workshop activities, many customers purchased the products because they found the importance of using them confidently. The business owner reiterated, “Now we don’t have a regular sellout. But on a good day, we can sell 50 underwear.”

Challenges in the business 

“Building this business in Cambodia is quite challenging, especially when we don’t know the language, so we must study some Khmer as well. However, after learning that the business works, we can gain a lot of experience,” Sarah said.

While financial challenges were important to deal with as Amala is a self-funded business, Sarah said she received support to stock the products at Honey Adoore, a bikini and lingerie store near Russian Market. She said she will continue to team up with stores because when customers come to visit, they not only see her products, but other Cambodian products as well. 

She added that while it has been a long process to get Cambodians to support the products, Amala will continue in its work, adding that before launching the business, she conducted a survey about people’s needs between price and quality.