A tale of two Pinky Gloves: A bloody shame ends in a remarkable victory in Germany

Photo by Vulvani
The Founders of Pinky Gloves on either side of investor, Ralf Dummel. Source: Pinky Gloves Instagram

Unpacking the problematics of Pinky Gloves

Image: Pinky Gloves product page

1. There is nothing innovative about a plastic glove

2. Menstrual blood is not dangerous or toxic

3. Design for real needs

4. Know your bloody market

Images: Left, photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels. Right, photo by Cliff Booth from Pexels.

5. Enough with the plastic waste

6. High cost per product

7. Scheiß (shit) marketing

Taken from The Drum (2021)

Unpacking the problematics of the investment in Pinky Gloves

Image: Co-Foounders of Ooshi (now Ooia), Kristine Zeller and Dr. Kati Erst on Höhle der Löwen in 2019. Source

This is astonishing when you see just how many great Femtech innovations have emerged over the last few years and how little economic support and trust the market has actually provided to enable those products and services to succeed.

The comparison between Pinky Gloves and Ooshi demonstrates that female founders are held to different standards than their male counterparts with their innovations and businesses held to greater scrutiny.

It is critical that investors do more to question their own internal bias to help close the financial gap for founders, and to build better products and services that meet the diverse needs all people. Whether you are motivated by profit or impact- know your audience!

What can be done, marching forward

Pinky Gloves’ newest Instagram post on April 19th, 2021. Translation: “We’re stopping with Pinky”. Source: Pinky Gloves Instagram

While this revolution of consumer influence may be as exhausting as it is beautiful and powerful, moving forward, businesses must be more cognizant of what they’re doing, for whom they’re doing it, and what their role truly is in creating a more gender-equal world.

Image: Madami’s Women-Centered Design Approach Source: Madami.co
  • For the men in our lives who just need to learn more: Encourage education and open discussions through fun, easy-to-understand resource and opportunities. Clue’s encyclopedia and the OH WOMAN board game are two of our favorite ways to share knowledge without being rude, aggressive or off-putting.
  • For innovators: Consult women and girls* and involve them at every stage of product development, especially if it is a product created by men and intended for women to use
  • For investors: Put your money where your mouth should be, and increase investment into the Menstrual Health and Hygiene (MHH) space to support existing innovations and scalable business models. A potential co-investor like The Case For Her would be happy to have you at the table!
  • For everyone else: Expert and solutionary innovation agencies such as Madami exist specifically to help refine ideas to ensure that products and services truly serve those the innovations are intending to empower. Get in touch to learn more!




A social impact agency specializing in gender, female & menstrual health

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A social impact agency specializing in gender, female & menstrual health

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