Co-founder & CEO, Saathi Pads. What we did itself was a challenge. Tarun also had personal experiences with a family member who was affected by having to face the taboos around menstrual hygiene in India. They fall so far behind that many of them drop out by class 8. I consulted my gynecologist and she suspected vaginal and urinal infection. There are already 9 million hectares dedicated to banana farming worldwide. Have been using them for about a year now. We actually designed a fully biodegradable and compostable pad that we are proud of and that we want people to use. I also find that leaks are practically minimal and that I can be very relaxed during those days. I was fortunate that this was not an issue in my life, and I do not want it to be an issue for any other woman. I started looking at the Indian sanitary pads market and realised that only 12 per cent of Indian women use sanitary pads. The pads degrade within three to six months of disposal – 1,200 times faster than conventional pads,” he said. The waste seriously impacts what they drink and eat.”. Banana fibre is an eco-friendly material that provides you great absorbency. Unlike most commercial pads, Saathi’s are not bleached or treated with chemicals like chloroform and styrene, which are suspected carcinogens. Commercial plastic pads can cost up to 27 cents per pad. We believe in a cradle-to-cradle approach to women’s health that benefits women and their communities at every step. Copyright © 2020. In India, contamination is a big problem: not just because the country creates 43,000 tons of plastic waste just with commercial pads, but also because there is no such as a garbage system in the country. When I worked in London, my boss was a genius of a man who didn't quite fit the mould. Saathi won Not Impossible Award 2019 at LA, USA. Saathi pads are made with banana fibre because of its highly absorbent properties, and the environmental and social benefits of its supply chain. For transforming banana fibers into biodegradable sanitary pads, Saathi recognized as TIME's Magazine's 100 Best Innovations. Our team has business, technical, and local expertise to develop new products and set up manufacturing. I have been using Saathi pads now for around 3 years and have no complaints regarding the quality of the pads. “Improvised alternatives are uncomfortable, unreliable and not very absorbent, making a day at work or school while on a period very difficult to manage.”. Every girl would miss a few days of school each month because of the lack of adequate sanitary protection. We wanted pads that were easy to dispose. Past Journey: Co-founded by Tarun Bothra, a mechanical engineer from Nirma University, along with Kristin Kagetsu, a mechanical engineer from MIT-Boston, Saathi Pads was incorporated in 2016. It is the first company to make a biodegradable sanitary pad from banana fibre. The pads are also competitively priced. We want them to look and feel the same as other popular non-biodegradabale brands and so we spent a lot of time on R&D to make that happen. The team started again with research and testing. Comment below and we will make it happen! Come see what our supporters have to say about Saathi! When disposed of, Saathi pads degrade within six months - 1200 times faster than plastic pads! | Palesa Pads manufactures and distributes reusable sanitary pads which are made of fabric and can be washed and reused for up to 5 years. After she came back from her internship in P&G, she recruited 15 classmates to design a low-cost machine that women in Rwanda, in Africa, could use to manufacture sanitary pads with local materials. Products. They found the way to process the long strands of banana fibre to maximise absorbency. Their pads are 100 percent biodegradable, made from banana fibers, which are strong, abundant and absorbent. Pilot Market: India. “Plastic pads take hundreds of years to degrade, and worse, are frequently burned generating toxic fumes including carbon dioxide,” noted Bothra. Gave it a try and was comfortable with the product. How sustainable is your manufacturing unit? The four of us started this company together. We were inspired by the idea of improving women's access to sanitary pads in India. Workshops ; Blog; Contact Us; My Account; Open Menu. Crop Certification: Going green unlocks global markets for farmers, How video games are joining the fight to save the planet. It was such a success they turned the whole globe green. There were a lot of challenges in setting up a supply chain. How does banana fibre compare to other natural fibres? How do we do road distribution because it would be too hard for us to go to the end customer? We also provide employment to eight women. Become a Contributor - Submit Your Article. What is your objective behind setting up this company? Together we combined our experiences to conceive and develop a biodegradable and compostable sanitary pad with a cradle to cradle (completely sustainable) business model which also embodies circular economy. Thanks Saathi for working on sustainable menstruation in India. Girls and women are often seen as impure and dirty when they have their period. I switched to Saathi pads and for the last 3 months I haven’t suffered from any infection, itching or irritation- Komal V. Hey, I tried out your pads and I loved them. Fast-forward five years, and twenty-eight-year-old Kagetsu, now Chief Executive Officer of Saathi pads, has teamed up with co-founder, twenty-six-year-old Tarun Bothra, to turn their attention to a more pressing environmental and social problem. Are you sure you want to print? When I saw blood in my urine, we tested for kidney infection which had spread due to the UTI. The first 100% eco-friendly sanitary pad made from waste banana tree fiber locally sourced for urban and rural India. We share the positive news happening worldwide between our community of change-makers. Saathi's co-founder. We don’t want to harm any part of our value chain,” he said. After trying many brands, cloth / non-cloth, I stumbled across a Saathi ad on Facebook. We found a way to source natural eco-friendly materials for sanitary pads to make a product that not only positively impacted women but was also good for the environment. Currently, the company is using sales to subsidize pads for rural women, who live in areas where menstruation is still a taboo subject. Banana fibre uses six times less water per ton produced than cotton, and 10 times less fertilizers. Also, they have to follow dietary restrictions. But the experience taught her a valuable lesson: ingredients for truly sustainable products must be sourced locally. Kristin holds a SB in Mechanical Engineering from MIT. Ready to stop plastic pad waste? Photo by: UN Environment / Georgina Smith. All raw material is sourced from India. Traditional pads are made from more than 90 per cent plastic. There is no looking back now. Grace was also passionate about sustainable product design and innovation as well as impacting women. Saathi is part of Katapult Ocean Accelarator program at Oslo,Norway. The Saathi pads team. By trailblazing the use of banana fibre as a consumer product raw material, Saathi hopes to champion its expanded use. INDIA. Doctor  suggested that I use sanitary pads which don't contain chemicals. Unlike wood pulp or cotton, banana fiber is an agricultural by-product, so it does not take up extra land. It started when I was working for Procter & Gamble, specifically with Whisper and Always pads in the feminine hygiene division in the summer of 2009. We use cookies for better user experience. One can have Saathi sanitary napkins online. At the same time we realised that there was a huge issue about disposal even if you took sanitary pads to women in rural India from start-ups. It means missing a week of school every month. Amrita Saigal is one of the initial founders of Saathi pads. Your period should not affect you from getting full education and doing the best you can. Saathi pads set out to improve the lives of women without creating a negative environmental impact. 1/5 of global black carbon emissions come from the transport sector. We are the biggest critics of our own products, so getting to a point where we were happy and had a product that I would want to use took nearly two years of R&D.

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