Bleed the North (formerly PERIOD Ontario) was founded by Isabela Rittinger in March 2020, at the start of the COVID-19 lockdown. Due to the stockpiling of period products in grocery stores during that time, the widespread effects of period poverty for individuals across Ontario was exacerbated by pandemic induced panic-buying, which further motivated Isabela to push for better access to period products.
With newfound spare time but longtime passion for menstrual equity, Isabela got to work in connecting with other like-minded individuals to work on this project. They quickly sensed interest and motivation from the community to help end period poverty and period stigma, leading the organization to expand from Durham Region to Ontario in May.
Since then, the Bleed the North team has been working tirelessly to provide period products to shelters across the province, advocating for menstrual legislation in Ontario parliament and developing virtual educational campaigns.
We are committed to ending period poverty and stigma by providing menstrual products to people in need across Ontario. We hope to educate our community on the dangers of period poverty and work to promote menstrual legislation in Canadian politics. We promise to see the ways in which menstruators are affected by their periods and learn from those who experience menstruation and period poverty in all of its complexity, together.
Our vision is a world in which no menstruator has to choose between putting food on the table or having a clean and healthy period. A world in which everyone, regardless of race, gender, socioeconomic status, has access to period products without being financially burdened. A world in which having a period is not gendered and considered “a woman’s issue”. A world where “period” is not a dirty word.
Our Commitment to Sustainability
We here at Bleed the North acknowledge the immense amount of waste generated by menstrual products, and recognize the need for more sustainable alternatives. As such, we promise to move forward into 2022 with a strong emphasis on sustainability—educating, advocating and empowering menstruators and non-menstruators alike to identify more eco-friendly menstrual products that are best suited for them.