Michel'le Abrahams, Anele Maqango (Voorbrug High), Sue Barnes (Subz) and Asavele Phalifo (Voorbrug High). supplied

The growing and ongoing effort to empower and keep disadvantaged girls in school during their period has gained a new partner.

Women shopping at Clicks stores are now able to purchase reusable, eco-friendly Subz sanitary pads while simultaneously supplying young women in disadvantaged communities with these lifechanging products, all for only R29.95. 

 Developed, designed and manufactured by Sue Barnes, founder of Project Dignity, the Subz pads are made of five layers of specialised fabrics which earned the product a SABS absorbency approval. Barnes developed the product after learning about the dire situation in African schools whereby young women are forced to miss vital classroom time because of a lack of adequate sanitary wear.

 “Because of the cost of sanitary products, many families simply can’t afford to buy pads and it is believed that young women are missing up to a week of school a month during menstruation,” explained Sue Barnes, founder of Project Dignity. “This has a profoundly negative impact on education for young women. The Subz Pants and Pads were developed as a reusable option with a three to five-year lifespan. The launch of the CSI branch of Subz, Project Dignity, has through sponsorship, seen the donation of these products to numerous schools in underprivileged communities across the country.”

 One such sponsor has been The Helping Hands Trust, the Clicks’ non-profit organisation, which – through its Girls on the Go campaign - partnered with Project Dignity in 2015 and is working towards distributing 36 000 packs of washable, reusable sanitary wear to needy recipients. The duo is now working together again, bringing these sanitary products to the retail market for the first time.  

 Barnes said they were excited to be providing the public with an environmentally-friendly, affordable sanitary option at Clicks stores. “While we will continue with our activations which aim to provide all young South African women with reusable sanitary pads, we are thrilled that the public is also able to purchase these user-friendly products, all while supporting the Girls on the Go campaign.”

 Retailing at R29.95 per item, the sanitary towel is an incredibly cost-effective option as it is reusable for three to five years. It is also an eco-friendly sanitary solution which is comfortable for the wearer. The original Subz Pants and Pads consists of a reusable sanitary pad and accompanying cotton panty, however, this has been re-designed for the retail market. Visitors to Clicks stores will be able to purchase a Subz sanitary pad which clips back onto itself around any panty. The pad is designed with one black side with customers given the option of a range of colours for the remaining side.


“We recently launched the Girls on the Go sanitary pad initiative in 280 Clicks stores countrywide,” said Germinah Nyikana, Clicks CSI Manager. “We are appealing to the public to support this campaign, which enables South Africa’s girl learners to get the education they deserve and encourages them to love and respect themselves and their bodies.”


For every reusable Subz sanitary towel bought at Clicks stores, the Clicks Helping Hand Trust will donate one sanitary towel to the Girls on the Go campaign which supports young women who cannot afford basic sanitary wear. Customers will also be given the option of purchasing a Subz sanitary towel to donate directly towards the Girls on the Go campaign at select Clicks till points.


Project Dignity and the Girls on the Go campaign will distribute some 700 packs of Subz Pants and Pads to schoolgoers at three KwaMashu schools on the 11 and 12 October.

 (adapted from a press release)