STAINS™ is a spoof aspirational brand. It is a line of bloodstain-themed fashions and accessories complete with adverts, spokesmodels, a CEO, brand identity guidelines, social media street team, and a ‘mockumentarian’, culminating in a merging of art, activism and science. STAINS™ critiques disposable menstrual product advertising’s lack of engagement with blood, except for when they use ‘leakage fear’ and words like ‘whisper’ and ‘discreet’ to shame consumers into seeking out their innovations.
The STAINS™ logo is a stylised bloodstain inspired by the silhouette of the prehistoric fertility sculpture, Venus of Willendorf. Supporters are encouraged to take their fashions to the streets, and reclaim the biggest period worry reported to education researchers by generations of young people.
Visitors are invited to become brand ambassadors: viewing a history of leakage fear in advertising, browsing the latest magazine fashion spreads, modifying their own clothes with STAINS™ logos, and taking selfies to upload to the #periodpositive hashtag on Instagram and Twitter. Also on display are jewellery items from the newly launched STAINS™ Permanent Stains Collection from which all profits go toward trialling and disseminating free, accurate and unbranded menstruation education resources at periodpositive.com.
Chella Quint is a Brooklyn-born artist, designer, comedian and researcher based in Sheffield. Her work focuses on science communication and social justice, and her projects usually begin as zines or comics, becoming stencils, films, podcasts, installations and live shows. Chella addresses menstrual blood stigma, using comedy as a playful way to challenge attitudes to sensitive topics.