Nadya Okamoto has combined her passion for activism, period equity and entrepreneurship into the creation of August period products and spoke to the student body at a Pushing Perspectives on April 17. After the recent introduction of August period products into Marlborough bathrooms, the Environmental Committee had been in contact with Okamoto and the August team to coordinate an opportunity for students to learn more about her career. As a 23-year-old Harvard graduate, Okamoto created August for ethically made, environmentally friendly period products while also promoting the destigmatization of menstruation and the empowerment of menstruators through period education.
Additionally, Okamoto is a founder and author with a passion for education activism and a commitment to sustainable and ethical practices.
At 16 years old, Okamoto created the organization PERIOD, which fights both period poverty and stigma by donating period products to over 400 organizations throughout the country and around the world. In 2018, Okamoto published “Period Power: A Manifesto for the Menstrual Movement.” which made the Kirkus Reviews list for Best Young Adult Nonfiction. Okamoto’s start as an activist has inspired her work ethic, as well as the focus on equity and inclusion that characterize her brand’s ethos.
“I think that beginning my career on the grassroots organizing side really taught me to be super scrappy, because there was no existing budget or resources to work off of when we got started — which is a big difference from raising capital to launch a business,” Okamoto said. “It taught me to be very resourceful and nimble, two traits that are super helpful in my career now.”
With a TikTok following of 4.1 million, a brand Instagram following of 181,000 and a popular podcast named Tigress, Okamoto has reached a large audience through her controversial, period-focused content.
“When the stigma around periods leads to it being a topic that we’re not supposed to discuss, a key way that we can fight that stigma is to talk about it a lot and talk about it boldly — and that’s what we do on social media!” Okamoto said.
Marlborough’s collaboration with Okamoto and August offers an opportunity for students to learn from one of the leaders of the period equity movement.
“I loved the Pushing Perspectives,” Mattie ‘25 said. “Nadya Okamoto is undoubtedly a trailblazer for the menstrual equity movement, and I think she encouraged Marlborough students to find a passion of theirs and pursue that passion just as she has done. I thought she was very inspirational and relatable.”
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