No more late night runs to the shops! Woman, 23, launches subscription service for organic tampons delivered straight to your door
- Radha Perera wants to change the way tampons are sold
- She says women should be aware of what they are putting into their bodies
- Tampon companies don't provide an ingredient list for what they put in their products
- Nylon tampons can contain chemicals, fragrances and plastics
- s. rosa organic costs $24 for a three-month supply
It was 3am and the middle of winter when Radha Perera got her period one night in 2014. She trudged to the bathroom and realised she had- as usual- run out of tampons. So the university student had to get in her car and drive to her local 7/11, where she paid $11 for a box.
When she got back home, she couldn't sleep. Radha kept thinking about how there should be a better way to buy tampons, and especially a better way to buy organic cotton tampons.
She searched for a company in Australia that could provide what she wanted, but there wasn't one, so she decided to start it herself.
'I just thought, this has to change, I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels this way,' Radha told Daily Mail Australia.
Reusable: The packaging, as well as the cotton used, is all organic and sustainable
'I tried to think of solutions. The industry hasn’t changed in years in years. I’ve had my period for 10 years now and it hasn’t changed at all, it hasn't gotten better.'
Radha, who has a bachelor of science with honors in medical research, was also concerned about the way synthetic tampons were made. Currently, tampon companies don't have to include a list of ingredients for their products, meaning you don't know what you're putting in your body.
'With synthetic tampons, they’re basically all synthetic fibres, and there’s a lot of chemical processes and fragrances,' Radha explained.
'Chlorine is a known ingredient in synthetic tampons. Even if there’s cotton tampons, many of them aren’t organic. They might have herbicides or pesticides which are toxic for our bodies. There’s also plastics in some of them.'
'This has to change': Radha was amazed big companies didn't have to list the ingredients in synthetic tampons
Radha decided that if something was going to change, she had to do it. So she spent six months planning the initial stages of the business, before taking a year to get all the samples made and set up her Kickstarter plan.
'It was hard. I was studying full time whilst I was planning the business,' Radha said. 'I was so determined, because I could see the problem every day impacting myself or my friends.'
'I started out by designing the pouch for the packaging, then I found suppliers. I was doing it at night- after uni, after work, I would sit on my bed with my computer and work on it. For the last year, up until now, I got samples done. The last year I was just planning everything, setting up the Kickstarter, doing the photography, building the website.'
What are you putting in your body?: Synthetic tampons can contain chemicals and plastics
Radha named the company S. Rosa Organic, and has launched a fundraising Kickstarter campaign where early adopters can purchase tampon supplies for three months, six months, one year, five years, or 10 years. The tampons are posted in three month supply lots, and come packaged in a reusable pouch.
The pouch was something Radha thought also made the company stand out. She said she was sick of tampon boxes breaking in her bag and tampons falling out when she went to grab her wallet. So she decided to design something that would work better.
'I wanted to create packaging that was new and reusable. Something sturdier that a cardboard box, that could be rolled up or folded up and would last a long time,' she said.
'I was so determined': Radha started the company whilst still studying at university
The tampons do come at a cost though. Being organic and locally made, they are more expensive than the big brands found in the supermarket. A three month supply of 48 tampons is $24, six months, or 96 tampons, is $47, and a year's supply of 192 tampons is $86.
By comparison, a 32 pack of synthetic tampons from a big brand like Libra or Carefree costs around $10. TOM Organic, the only other brand on the market selling organic cotton tampons, costs around $7.50 for a 16 pack, still slightly cheaper than S. Rosa Organic.
Ultimately however, Radha believes that there are enough women who care about having access to organic tampons that the company will succeed.
'The benefit is that you know what’s going in your body every single month,' she said. 'it's nothing but organic cotton. You’re getting packaging that’s reusable and environmentally friendly.
'You can use the pouches to keep makeup, keep jewellery, even when you travel. Plus it’s the most convenient way to get your tampons because they're posted to your door.'