New organic sanitary subscription service pledges to help tackle period poverty around the world

Launched this week, Freda offers organic sanitary towels and tampons via subscription. The company pledges to donate a proportion of profits to schemes that are tackling period poverty in the UK and beyond

Freda is a monthly subscription service offering tampons made from organic cotton, and pads that are made from wood pulp. The London-based company, which launched on Wednesday, claims both are free from chemicals. It will donate 15 per cent of profits to projects in the UK and globally that help girls and women who can’t afford to buy sanitary products.

These include A Bloody Good Cause, a UK initiative to provide pads to refugees and homeless women, Bloody Good Period, which aims to give asylum seekers better access to period care, and Killi Pads, a micro enterprise in Tanzania which produces reusable cloth pads with locally sourced materials for schoolgirls, many of whom live in poverty and lack access to running water, hygienic facilities or basic period care.

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Affi Parvizi-Wayne (pictured above) launched Freda after seeing refugees stuck at European border crossings and wondering how they managed their periods. “From transparency to responsibility to access, the whole femcare space needs rebooting,” she told Positive News.

Freda’s tampons are made from organic cotton and are biodegradable, hypoallergenic and free from chemicals and synthetic fibres

“We want to talk openly about the subject without patronising women or telling them how to live their periods. We want to embrace how we experience periods and start recognising them as a sign of a healthy woman.”

Freda also uses artificial intelligence to predict women’s start dates: its online period tracker allows customers to sync the delivery of products to ensure they arrive at the right time of the month.

We want to talk openly about the subject without patronising women or telling them how to live their periods

“I was struck by the lack of available information around what actually goes into pads and tampons,” said Parvizi-Wayne. “Just as we pay attention to what goes into the foods that we eat and the products we put on our skin, we should also be able to make a more informed decision when it comes to the most intimate product we as women use. Do women realise that some high street pads and tampons are actually made of chemicals, fragrances, dyes, rayon, polyester, polyethylene, polyproprylene, chlorine and pesticides which are linked to health conditions? And would they continue buying these brands on auto-pilot if they did?”

The pads are made from wood pulp and contain no dyes, fragrances and deodorants, say Freda

She said access to period care is a “basic human and universal right, not a luxury”.

“The lives and education of hundreds of millions of girls worldwide are impeded by not having access to period essentials – and in 2018 that’s simply not OK.”

Images: Freda

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