Lunapads International is a women-owned mission driven business based in Vancouver, Canada. Our mission is to help menstruators have healthier and more positive experiences of their menstrual cycles, and by extension, their bodies overall. Our team is made up of a passionate group who believe that using natural menstrual products is a creative and empowering way to honor and care for ourselves and the planet.
How did Lunapads start?
In 1993 Madeleine Shaw, then an aspiring fashion designer, started making Lunapads as an attempt to resolve monthly bladder infections she had been suffering as a result of tampon use. In making the switch, she discovered a new and exciting relationship with her cycle which in turn enhanced her overall self-esteem and inspired her to start a business.
By 1999 Lunapads were available at Health Food stores across Canada. In the same year Madeleine met Suzanne Siemens, a Chartered Accountant looking for greater meaning in her career, at a Community Leadership course they were both participating in. Realizing that they shared a dream for healthier women and a healthier planet, they combined their talents to make Lunapads the globally-recognized brand it is today.
Why do most make the switch?
There are a multitude of common reasons, including frustration with the cost of disposable products, health issues such as rashes or infections, and concern about environmental issues. On a more positive note, many simply want to be more comfortable or to free themselves from endless trips to the drugstore to buy more supplies.
Many Lunapads users also express the opinion that marketing campaigns for disposables, and even the products themselves, imply a sense of shame around menstruation in that the products resemble bandages that must be then â€śdiscreetlyâ€ť disposed of after use. Lunapads has created a uniquely inspiring community of progressive, forward-thinking individuals who want to be more engaged with themselves and reject this shame-based approach to an entirely healthy and natural process.
What are the main benefits of reusable products vs. disposables?
Dramatically reduced waste, financial savings, superior comfort and fewer health issues.
How do you respond to the â€śewwâ€ť factor?
Initial discomfort with the idea of being in closer proximity to oneâ€™s menses is perfectly understandable given the social climate around menstruation that most of us have been raised in. Actually seeing the products themselves has a powerful impact for most customers: a common reaction is â€śWow, theyâ€™re so soft and pretty!â€ť The notion that Lunapads will be hard to wash or transport is also quickly dispelled, as they do not typically require special washing treatment and can be easily stored while outside the home.
As with the changes so many of us are making to live more sustainably, it is a change that is often surprisingly easy and has the added benefit of the sense of satisfaction that we are doing something better for ourselves and the Earth.
- Founded: 2000
- Location: Vancouver BC, Canada
- Founders: Madeleine Shaw and Suzanne Siemens
- Customers: >100,000
- Global reach: >40 countries
- Primary sales channel: Lunapads.com
- Number of employees: 8
- Number of disposable pads and tampons diverted from landfills every month, thanks to customers using Lunapads.com products: 1 million
- Number of disposable pads or tampons replaced by 1 Lunapad: 140
- Number of years a single Lunapad will last: > 5 years
- Number of disposable pads, tampons and applcators added to landfills annually in North America: 20 Billion
Statistics about Pads4Girls
- Making donations since: 2001
- Countries: Mexico, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan, Ghana, Zimbabwe
- Number of women/girls helped: ~ 100,000
In April 2011, BC Business Magazine named Lunapads one of BC's top 20 Leading Innovators. Not only were the judges impressed with our innovative products, they were even more impressed with our Pads4Girls project.
"Itâ€™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,â€ť proclaimed BCBusiness Magazine.
- Congratulations to the 2013 Successful You Winners! Small Business BC, 2013
- Lunapads Donates 400 AFRIpads Kits #Pads4Oprah go! Vancouver, Jan 2013
- Firm makes a difference -- and money, The Vancouver Sun, August 2012
- Help a girl stay in school â€” and change the world, Danielle Laporte, July 2012
- Join the Lunapads Green Diva Challenge, BUST Magazine, July 2012
- Lunapads on CTV's Steele on Your Side, CTV, June 2012
- Lunapads Sets Social Innovation Example, Vancouver Observer, May 2012
- Lunapads Using Business to Inspire Global Change, Axiom, May 2012
- The New Business of Lady Business, BCIT Broadcast News, May 2012
- Have an eco friendly period, David Suzuki's Queen of Green, February 2012
- Addressing a Monthly Issue, Media Planet feature in the National Post, June 2011
- Madeleine Shaw and Suzanne Siemens profile, Forum for Women Entrepreneurs, June 2011
- Empowering Entrepreneurs North Shore News, Brief Case, April 2011
- Live from the 2011 Innovators Gala (Video), BCBusiness Online, 2011
- Leading Innovator BCBusiness Magazine, April 2011
- Love for Lunapads The Kind Life, May 2010
- A Planet Friendly Period Mothering Magazine, April 2010
- Cycle Green Green is Sexy, May 2010
- Eco and Body Friendly Menstrual Products Offbeat Mama, June 2010
- The Skeptic Redbook, February 2009
- There's No Delicate Way To Put This TruthDig, January 2007
- Your Greenest Time of the Month Chatelaine, November 2008
- How to Have Happier Periods BUST Magazine, October 2008
- Going Garbage Free with Lunapads and the Diva Cup! Montreal Gazette, November 2008
- Lunapads Recommended as an Eco-Friendly Choice Grist, November 2008
- Lunagals Mompreneur, June 2008
- Green Shopping List Mompreneur, June 2008
- Luna Babies Land at Work Herizons Magazine, March 2008
- Pads to Save or Trash Africa The Georgia Straight, March 2008
- A Rad Pad SavvyMom.ca, January 2008
- That Time of the Decade Vancouver Sun, November 2007
- These Are Not Your Grandma's Pads Pediascribe, November 2007
- Going Green Pajama Mommy, October 2007
- Not Gross At All, Actually! The Opinionated Parent, June 2007
- Lunapads Female Protection TreeHugger, May 2005
Radio / Podcast Appearances
- Loving Our Cycles, Loving Ourselves Better Love and Sex with Devi Ward, February 2014
- Interview with Madeleine Shaw, Co-Founder of Lunapads 90.9FM CJSW , October 2013
- Sexy in Vancity 101.9FM CITR, December 2010
- LunaRevolution Pregnancy Place Radio, November 2010
- Chatting with Madeleine Shaw, founder of Lunapads Strocel.com, July 2011
- Lunapads Recognized for Community Impact (March, 2013)
- Pads4Girls in the Dominican Republic distributed (April 2011)
- BCBusiness Leading Innovator award (April 2011)
- International Women's Day sale (March 2011)
- Pads4Girls and Mariposa send 200 kits to Dominican Republic (March 2011)
- Shining Light at Green America awards US Release (November 2009)
- Shining Light at Green America awards Canadian Release (November 2009)
- Saving money with Lunapads (October 2008)
- Teen Booklet (September 2008)
- Lunapads for African Schoolgirls (April 2008)
- Happier periods, naturally (January 2008)
- The top 5 reasons to consider switching to Lunapads and the DivaCup.
- The top 5 myths about reusable menstrual products debunked.
- Suzanne and Madeleineâ€™s top 5 business tips for Women Entrepreneurs.
- Lunapads: a Case Study on niche online sales success story.
- Pads4Girls: how menstrual pads can help keep a girl in school in developing nations.