Top 20 Innovators in BC, Lunapads International Products
Congratulations to Lunapads, #17 in 2011's Most Innovative Companies in B.C.
It’s tempting to imagine what the world would be like if every company operated under the same principles as Lunapads, a triple-bottom-line innovator that is changing the lives of women around the world. The company has been producing a reusable cloth menstrual pad since 1993, each one able to replace 140 tampons or disposable pads. The company counts about 100,000 customers in 40 countries, which (by its estimates) keeps one million disposable products out of landfills every month.
There’s clearly an environmental benefit, as well as a solid business case for the environmentally conscious consumer, but that’s not the end of the story. Since 2004 Lunapads has teamed up with NGOs to provide menstrual products to women and girls in the developing world who would otherwise have none. The lack of these products is a serious barrier to education because it can force girls to stay home from school for several days every month. Lunapads distributes at-cost kits with its products, funded by donations from the public, and has so far sent about 3,000 pads and panties, affecting about 1,000 women. The company has distribution partners in Haiti, Ethiopia, Kenya, the Dominican Republic, Sudan and Zimbabwe.
Lunapads makes perhaps an even bigger impact by mentoring and sharing its proprietary trade practices with menstrual pad makers in developing countries, such as AfriPads in Kenya, a social enterprise that makes and distributes pads while employing local women.