Archive for the ‘Inside Lunapads’ Category

For the love of “M.”

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014 by Madeleine

monica performing

A shining star of a person has been blazing her way across Vancouver and the Lunaverse for the past few years: we are sad to see her move on to other solar systems (namely California), however so grateful for the time that she was here with us.

The one and only “M.” (then known as World Hip Hop Mom Monica Morong) entered our orbit at a Living Extraordinary event in 2012 where Suzanne and I had been invited to share our story. She came up to our table afterward and instantly blew us away with her energy, enthusiasm and original vision. Who else, after all, would consider writing and performing a rap song about our products?


FDA Compliance & The Cost of Doing Business

Monday, December 8th, 2014 by Suzanne

There has been a recent flurry of activity on the topic of FDA registration and questions from our customers about whether Lunapads are FDA compliant. The short answer is YES we have been compliant since 2001. Having looked into this subject closely for many years, I have this to add to the conversation:

Medical Device Categorization:

Cloth pads have been considered medical devices and subject to FDA compliance since the 1990’s. This is nothing new. Like many cloth pad manufacturers, we had no idea this was a requirement. Once we did, we went through the intense process of obtaining our 510(k) Premarket Notification and paying the Annual Registration Fee. More recently, we had to refile our submission because someone from the FDA noticed that our  product “classification” needed to be defined as “reusable”, a classification that didn’t even exist when we originally registered!

FDA and Regulation:

We think that it is important that organizations like the FDA exist to regulate products for the safety of the public. But, there is a cost to regulation and we regard the annual FDA registration fee as simply a cost of doing business. We don’t love the fact that this cost is beginning to exceed $4,000/year. It is no different than paying for product liability insurance (which costs us a lot more than the FDA fee!) These are costs of operating our business ethically and responsibly in the industry we have chosen to be a part of.

WAHM makers, we feel your pain.

I can relate to the pain that WAHM (“Work At Home Mom”), Etsy & other cloth pad makers are feeling now that they know about this fee. But, it feels only fair that all of us in this industry are treated equally and bear the same costs. We cringe at the criticism we often receive that Lunapads are expensive and told that one can buy cloth pads from WAHM brands for much cheaper. Well, now you know one reason why. Once all WAHM brands start paying these fees and building it into the price of the pads, it will level the playing field a bit.

And, please don’t forget that Madeleine and I are moms too: we sometimes work from home and sometimes work at the office. We are working hard to raise our families and struggle to pay our bills just like any entrepreneur. For more on this, see Madeleine’s post; Lunapads: big or small business?.

Safety & Compliance:

As feminists, while we don’t buy into the notion of menstruation being a medical condition and products like ours being medical devices, we know that menstruation is not always a simple experience. Many people have harsh reactions to certain kinds of menstrual products (such as rashes from pads) and are still reporting to the FDA the affects of Toxic Shock Syndrome. Institutions like the FDA are there for consumers to report adverse effects and hold to account manufacturers for compliance and safety.

Sign the Petition:

We support the We the People Petition to lower or eliminate cloth pads from the medical device classification. Cloth pads are in essence garments and should be exempt; indeed, it is what Health Canada has already told us. Why should the FDA feel differently? It is interesting to note that the FDA website specifically states “There are no reductions in annual establishment registration fees for small businesses or any other group.” Gee, thanks a lot. 


While the petition gathers signatures, we will continue to be compliant with the FDA. We are happy that the level of consciousness has been raised on the issue and now hope that customers have a better appreciation for the challenges that businesses like Lunapads, Gladrags and other WAHM manufacturers face in running a small business.

The Lunapads Holiday Gift Guide

Thursday, December 4th, 2014 by Morgan

The name Lunapads has been synonymous with eco-friendly period products for over a decade, but in recent years we’ve expanded our product lines to include so much more! Carefully crafted and curated items that we personally use and love, and we think you’ll love them to! Here are our top picks for the holiday season – natural, reusable and sustainable gifts that will surely delight anyone on your list. Save 15% on these and other great gift ideas with discount code: NIFTYGIFTY


For the yoga or fitness enthusiast
We all know that conventional deodorants and antiperspirants are loaded with questionable and unnecessary chemicals like aluminum salts, triclosan, parabens and synthetic fragrance compounds –  but finding a natural alternative that actually works is a daunting task. Sola Coconut Deodorant is the holy grail of natural deodorants! Its’ coconut oil-based formula wont leave you feeling sticky after applying, or stinky half way through the day. Pair it up with some 100% Organic Cotton Leggings from Maggie’s Organics for a truly sustainable workout.

For the Fashionista
Maggie’s organics cushioned crew socks in stylish stripes will keep their feet warm and comfy while they’re out pounding the pavement in search of the latest looks. ULAT dryer balls are a great way to shorten drying times on laundry – reducing your energy bill and environmental impact while keeping your duds static-free.

For the Desk Jockey
Office lunches can be a little sad. Brighten up someone’s break with awesome lunch bag accessories from Cuppow and Planet Wise. The Cuppow BNTO adapter turns an average canning jar into ultimate 2-compartment reusable container. Keep your salad and dressing separate or your yogurt and granola un-stirred. Nearly 20 million plastic sandwich baggies are thrown out every day in the US alone. Help them break the trash habit with Planet Wise snack bags. Available in 2 sizes, both lined with FDA food safe material and featuring a no-leak design. Throw in a Lunapads handkerchief as a washable napkin and their reusable lunch kit is complete!

For Mom
Give your mom the gift of a good night’s sleep. Using innovative Drylon technology, Lusomé sleepwear wicks away moisture, keeping you cool and dry for the best sleep ever. Did you know that keeping your feet warm helps you fall asleep faster? La Pinède sleep socks in luxurious Mohair will keep those tootsies toasty, plus they’re machine washable.

For the Stressed-out Sally
We probably all know someone who needs a little extra self care around the holidays. The Lunapads Therapy Pillow provides hot or cool relief for aches and pains, plus it’s soothing Lavender scent is sure to help them relax. Hurraw Vegan Lip Balm is made from only the best ingredients and keeps your lips soft without feeling greasy or grainy – the perfect way to turn that frown upside down.

For the Fence-Sitter

For your friend who’s still on the fence about this whole reusable menstrual products thing. You’ve ranted and  raved about it but they still can’t bring themselves to fork over the cash and save themselves from a lifetime of bummer periods. Now’s your chance to do it for them. No more pussy footing around (pun intended!) Get them anything from our One4Her department. Not only will they feel great about their new menstrual care routine, they can also feel good knowing that using Lunapads products helps girls in East Africa stay in school, and creates jobs for women in Uganda.

Save 15% on these and other great gift ideas with discount code: NIFTYGIFTY



Art Therapy LunaCircle with Moorea Hum

Monday, April 7th, 2014 by Lunapads Team


Join us for an evening of inspiration and empowerment with special guest Moorea Hum, art therapist and creator of Yinstill’s Grieving Reproductive Loss Art Therapy program.

Creativity can connect you to the natural processes that takes place on a biological, emotional, mental and spiritual level. This creative engagement encourages a healthy flow of energy allowing you to release, tolerate or make space for the stressful or difficult emotions you may be experiencing.

Come learn about how art therapy can reduce stress and connect you with your inner emotional self. Moorea will show us how it works and take us through a supportive and therapeutic art therapy activity. There will be an opportunity to learn more about mental health care, Moorea’s story and if you feel called to each share a bit of our own emotional journey. No art background or skills required!

When: Wednesday, April 23rd
Time: 7PM (join us at 6:30 for snacks and socializing!)
Where: Lunapads International, 3433 Commercial Street Vancouver BC (map)

LunaCircles are free events sponsored by Lunapads that create a safe space for conversation and exploration of how we connect with our fertility cycles. Please RSVP to the Facebook Event Page and share the event with your friends!

AFRIpads & Lunapads: putting a ring on it

Friday, March 7th, 2014 by Madeleine

It’s amazing timing that AFRIpads founders Paul Grinvalds and Sophia (Sonia) Klumpp have recently become engaged (hooray! we wish them every happiness), because we have some commitment news of our own: Lunapads has just become an official shareholder in AFRIpads.

Lunapads becomes AFRIpads shareholderMadeleine, Paul, Sonia & Suzanne meet in Uganda for the first time in 2012

Like most long-term relationships, you keep building it over time (in this case, since 2008), not really paying attention to all the incremental pieces of trust and co-creation that are taking place. And then from time to time it hits you that it’s actually something special that’s worth pausing to take stock of and celebrate: this is one of those moments.

Looking back at our over-20 year career as entrepreneurs, our relationship and visit with AFRIpads stands out as a high point. For those of you new to the story, the journey started in 2008 when Carrie-Jane Williams, then a UBC student, brought over some Lunapads kits to the Ugandan village where she was working on a literacy project. There she happened to meet Paul and Sonia, themselves also volunteers working on a development project, and showed them the pads she had left.

Paul and Sonia, for their part already having identified the issue of girls missing school due to lack of feminine hygiene products, were inspired to start their own business making pads modeled after Lunapads. They wrote to us to ask for our support, we said yes, and “off to the races” they went.

By the time we met Paul and Sonia and the AFRIpads team for the first time in January of 2012, they had 30 employees working in 2 facilities, and had supplied over 100,000 girls with AFRIpads kits. Since then their team has grown to over 60 and they have supplied over 250,000 girls with pad kits.  And, as new investors, we are beyond proud to be directly supporting the building of their new factory, which just broke ground this year!

Following our 2012 meeting, we decided to launch our One4Her partnership, whereby for each Lunapads One4Her product sold, AFRIpads are donated to girls in need in East Africa. To date, the One4Her program will have provided over 34,000 AFRIpads to thousands of girls: the largest distribution being 2,000 kits in Kibera, Kenya in October 2013.

While our relationship with AFRIpads’ most obvious benefit is providing girls with pads to support their school attendance, another key aspect is sustainable employment for local Ugandan women, and we have also been proud to support AFRIpads’ staff professional development.

Like getting married, becoming shareholders is a big step: but when it feels right – well, it just feels right. We’re excited for the future, knowing that we are stronger together.

Congratulations to everyone, and many, many happy returns!

A LunaGal Abroad: Entrepreneurship in Ethiopia

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014 by Kitty


Photos, clockwise from top left: a) Wearing injera basket lids as hats and being silly with our really good friend, Sintayehu b) Part of the Arc Team during a weekend road trip en route to Debre Zeit. c) Learning how to weave from the ladies at Salem’s Design, a shop opened by a partner entrepreneur d) Proof I did indeed feed a hyena in Harar

In the summer of 2013, I traveled to Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, with a few fellow classmates of mine. The organization we traveled with, Arc Initiative connected us with small business owners and entrepreneurs of Ethiopia. I had the chance to learn about what they do, as well as exchange ideas on how run a business.

Gamesh Habesha, meaning “half Ethiopian” in Amharic, is a term I coined myself halfway through the trip. Due to my darker shade of Asian skin tone and my ability to blurt out a few Amharic phrases, locals often considered that idea. My team and I were often invited into people’s homes for coffee ceremony or dinner, and treated like I was part of the family. Even with the cultural difference, I felt like I was a local near the end of the trip. With so many memories to choose from, here are my top 5 highlights from the trip:


A New Look for Lunapads!

Friday, January 24th, 2014 by Madeleine


As some of you may have seen via Facebook yesterday, the Lunapads logo is getting a new visual groove on, and we’re so excited! Other examples of her new look can be seen here as a Sponsor of the Vancouver edition of Urban Campfire, as well as for G Day, a new event for girls ages 10-12 that will take place in Vancouver on April 28, 2014.

I don’t know abut you, but when I turned 20 I was ready to bust out of my teenage geekiness and look more modern and grown up. The original Lunapads logo is actually little more than a typeface choice made a couple of decades ago. No “brand identity” or other marketing fanfare was planned – it just seemed like a cool font at the time (and it was!)


Announcing G Day for Girls!

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014 by Madeleine

Telling you about G Day feels like a combination of my birthday, a weekend and every holiday I’ve ever anticipated. It’s a new creative project that I have had in my heart and mind since I was a little girl.

As a girl, I was awed by the idea of becoming an adult woman. Like Margaret in Judy Blume’s classic Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, I was obsessed with all the details, particularly menstruation, and on a semiconscious level I hoped that there would be some sort of fanfare when the momentous time came.

The obvious aside, nothing happened, and I was left with a sense of deep disappointment. Not that I could have told you what exactly I had imagined might happen – I just wanted other people to acknowledge in some way that what was happening to me was special, because I sure thought it was.

I was reminded of these feelings early last year, when I was invited to speak at Pecha Kucha Night Vancouver as part of a Special Edition created in partnership with Women Transforming Cities. At first I thought it was a bit weird to be thinking about my work in an urban context, and then I remembered my girlhood dream, and landed on the idea of creating modern Red Tents where we could bring our daughters to celebrate them when they entered adolescence.


Pirates, B Corps & Disruption: Not Business as Usual

Monday, January 20th, 2014 by Madeleine

Not Business As Usual Documentary from institute B on Vimeo.

It won’t come as news to most people reading this blog that our business philosophy is firmly grounded in the belief that capitalism can be a powerful force for positive social change. You just don’t often get to see these types of values expressed every day, let alone as a documentary film with you in it.

As some background, Institute B is a Vancouver-based social impact business think tank/incubation/education and venture capital firm. Suzanne and I have participated in their highly regarded Changemakers series, and are proud and excited about the work they’re doing and community they’re building. They are massive champions of the Benefit Corporation (B Corp) movement, a group of almost 1,000 companies worldwide who participate in a rigorous evaluation process of their impact, then go a step further to amend their legal articles of incorporation to enshrine a commitment that pursuit of profit will never come at the expense of social or environmental considerations.

When we were approached to be interviewed for the video, naturally we agreed to share our story. What we didn’t know was that the “video” was actually destined to become an hour-long documentary about the evolution and future of capitalism. Several of our favourite friend/colleagues/B Corporations (hello Fairware, Junxion Strategy, Save On Meats, Potluck Cafe, Renewal Partners) were also interviewed, and the result is pure inspiration. We were also delighted to see our sister company AFRIpads featured too!


Following the screening, Suzanne was invited to join a panel of fellow entrepreneurs for a discussion, moderated by Kevin Lee Royes, a serial “soulcial-preneur” who successfully closed a deal on Dragons Den (the Canadian version of reality TV entrepreneurial pitching) and parlayed that into a guest hosting gig on future shows. His first question to the panel was “Is it too late to save the world?” In response Suzanne retold the story of the Little Hummingbird & the Forest Fire and said that “we (ie: Lunapads & AFRIpads) are simply doing what we can.” And so thanks to all our customers and supporters: you are helping make that happen!

The “Pirates and “Disruption” in the title of this post are references to a couple of particularly cheeky lines of my and Suzanne’s. There’s not much more to say other than thank you to the IB team for this incredible opportunity to be part of such a powerful and innovative movement. We’re not stopping anytime soon ;-)


LunaCircle with Dr. Thara Vayali, ND

Monday, January 20th, 2014 by Lunapads Team


Trying to have a baby?
Close to Menopause?
PMS? Hair loss? Fatigue?
Extended, heavy periods or none at all?
Come learn how a poorly functioning Thyroid can contribute to these conditions and learn how to get it back on track!
Join us for an evening of inspiration and empowerment with special guest Dr. Thara Vayali, ND, Naturopath and Yoga Teacher. She is the creator of Change: Natural Medicine; budget-conscious, membership-based natural medical care.

Come learn about the butterflies in your neck and the lumps in your throats, literally! We will be learning about and discussing the thyroid gland: what it does and how to notice when it’s not working optimally. Dr. Thara will be giving us 5 take home ideas on how to support your thyroid function.

Learn about how thyroid function affects each stage of your reproductive health.

Discover foods that help & harm thyroid function.

Be guided safely into thyroid balancing Yoga Asanas

When: Thursday, January 30th
Time: 7PM (join us at 6:30 for snacks and socializing!)
Where: Lunapads International, 3433 Commercial Street Vancouver BC (map)

What to bring: A yoga mat & comfortable clothes.

LunaCircles are free events sponsored by Lunapads that create a safe space for conversation and exploration of how we connect with our fertility cycles. Please RSVP to the Facebook Event Page and share the event with your friends!