From watching someone empty out their Camelback at a security checkpoint to patiently awaiting a basket of chicken tenders from a food truck, it's no secret that music festivals are waiting games. But for women, lengthy lines take on a whole new meaning when it comes to going to the bathroom.
In fact, according to a recent study, it can take up to 34 times longer for a woman to reach a portable toilet than it does for men. That's where Hazel McShane and Amber Probyn come in.
The two University of Bristol graduates are the co-founders of Peequal, a start-up seeking to get women back to the party from the bathroom faster than ever. Inspired by their experiences working at music festivals in the UK, their hands-free urinal is estimated to be six times speedier than a traditional portable toilet. That's because its space-efficient design is meant to close a gap in bathroom access, with their research finding festivals to have an average of 10 male urinals for every women's toilet.
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"It’s actually an adaptation of a hole in the ground toilet but it’s what we call the pedestal," McShane told the BBC. "It’s designed like a boat to minimize splash back and also to have a little place for your clothing in front."
Peequal is the product of McShane and Probyn's masters project while at University of Bristol. The urinal recently secured the top prize for the school's New Enterprise Competition, during which it competed against other startups for an award of £15,000. Backed by robust research, including interviews with over 2,000 women in focus groups, a prototype of the Peequal was tested at the Bristol Comedy Garden last weekend.
Toilet lines are "wasting hours of women's lives," Probyn said. "Driven by curiosity and a restlessness for a product that solves our own problem, we set out to fight the women's toilet queue," the pair added on the Peequal website.