FemCare brands to watch: Businesses leading the way in eco-friendly period products

August 13, 2020

A few weeks ago we featured Daye: A cramp fighting biodegradable tampon in our newsletter. Today we are going to discuss six eco-friendly brands in the femcare space.

Daye: A cramp fighting biodegradable tampon.
Ohne: Biodegradable period kit provider.
DivaCup: Eco-friendly menstrual cup.
Thinx: Period proof underwear.
Callaly: Organic cotton tampliners, pads and liners.
Bloody Good Period: Menstrual supplies for asylum seekers

Daye:

https://yourdaye.com/

Daye creates CBD-infused tampon subscription service to fight cramps. While they are currently pre-launch, you can sign up to their waitlist to be among the first to try the new tampon.

This is just the first product Daye plans to release. In an article in TechCrunch, Daye founder Valentina Milanova says:

“Our goal is to raise the standards of women’s hygiene products by tackling three primary issues: dysmenorrhea, manufacturing standards and sustainability,” Milanova tells TechCrunch.
“Women have largely been left out of medical innovation. In fact, until 1993, researchers banned women from participating in [early] clinical trials, as it was believed female hormone fluctuations polluted medical data. To this day, most medications, including those for pain relief, depression and sleeping aids, have not been tested on women. We’re redefining localised cramp-relief, relying on an ingredient that we’ve tested on women first.”

While we have to wait for the launch to hear reviews, this company has sparked a lot of attention raising 5.5 million in May 2019 from the likes of Khosla Ventures, Index Ventures and some prominent UK angels.

Ohne:

https://ohne.co/

Ohne is a subscription based period service selling organic tampons. The brand was founded by friends Nikki Michelson and Leah Remry-Peploe to remove the stigmas and taboos surrounding periods. Tampons are certified 100% organic cotton, 100% biodegradable and all plastic packaging is recyclable.

On top of removing the period taboos, the brand is partnered with the social enterprise School Club Zambia to help fight period poverty. Around the world, women are unable to go to school / work because they are unable to afford menstrual health products.

Products are already live on their website and you can buy boxes of tampons with or without an applicator starting from £4.90 as well as anti teardrops cramp oil. You can set up your order as a subscription service selecting the quantity and absorbance level you need to have products delivered straight to your home. The UK brand has raised an undisclosed seed round.

DivaCup:

https://divacup.com/

The eco-friendly DivaCup is a product that has been on the market for 15 years and already has many diehard fans. Unlike it’s tampon, with proper sterilization, the DivaCup can be re-used each month and offers 12th hour coverage. Their site offers detailed instructions how to use insert, remove and clean the DivaCup for continued usage.

The product already has thousands of positive reviews on Amazon of women who converted from other forms of period care. Countless positive reviews discuss that the DivaCup is the best period product they have tried compared to tampons / pads.

One Amazon reviewer explains:

“Where/when?? Every 12 hours is SOOO NICE! Trust me, you’re usually home within 12 hours. If you’re not, find a private bathroom, take it out, rinse it off, stick it back in. One reviewer mentioned she does this in the shower at night- genius.
Overall, this has been really exciting! Pads suck! Tampons turn your precious ecosystem into a desert! The diva cup isn’t perfect, but it’s the best menstrual product I have ever tried.”

The brand was founded by Francine Chambers and her daughter Carinne Chambers-Saini and was first brought to the mass market in 2003.

Thinx:

https://www.shethinx.com/

Thinx provides washable “period-proof” underwear that can hold up to 4 tampons worth of absorption. They do not market themselves as a period product replacer but as an easier backup to use compared to pads. They market as the extra layer of support to prevent period accidents.

In the early days, the brand grew attention via a provocative subway ad campaign in New York.

Thinx offers a variety of period prevention undergarments starting around £20 a paid. The brand sells primarily through its own website but also uses retail partners, pop-up stores and Amazon to further fuel its growth.

The brand launched in January 2014 by founder Radha Agarwal, Miki Agarwal and Antonia Dunbar and with modest funding grew into an empire worth hundreds of millions. Founder and CEO Miki Agarwal had to step down from her role in 2018 due to sexual assault allegations.

Callaly:

https://www.calla.ly/

Callaly is another innovative brand in the femcare space. The subscription box service allows people to buy organic cotton tampliners, tampons, pads and liners. Their real speciality is the tampliner, which was invented by their co-founder Alex Hooi. He used his 30 years of expertise as a gynecologist to develop the new period product. Their website elaborates on how a tampliner differs from a traditional tampon:

Tampliners are a completely new femcare product. They have three parts: an organic cotton tampon, an organic cotton mini-liner, and a virtual applicator that connects the two. Wearing a tampliner feels quite different from using a normal tampon. The mini-liner is worn folded between your labia, giving you extra protection against leaks. The tampon and mini-liner are connected by a breathable virtual applicator. This is made from a medical-grade, ultra-thin film that you wear inside your vagina, keeping the mini-liner in place.

According to crunchbase, Callaly raised its first small angel round in 2014 and has taken on 4.3M of debt and equity fundraising to date. You can try out purchasing Callaly products now starting from £9 on their website.

Bloody Good Period:

https://www.bloodygoodperiod.com/

Bloody Good Period is working to end period poverty by donating menstrual supplies to those who cannot afford them. They specifically provide period products to asylum seekers and refugees.

Bloody Good Period also publishes research on the impact period poverty has on women. Their October 2009 report presents the testimony of four asylum-seeking women who share their experiences of period poverty while living destitute, without accommodation or financial support. The testimonies show:​

  • Asylum-seeking women are being forced to go without food and other basic needs in order to purchase period products.
  • Period poverty is negatively impacting on women’s physical and mental health, causing infections and stress. Women are resorting to using tissue and/or strips clothing or bath towels in the place of appropriate period products.
  • Period poverty is preventing asylum-seeking women from rebuilding their lives with dignity and is part of the ‘hostile environment’ policy against women seeking safety in the UK.

Donate to Bloody Good Period here.