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BACKGROUND is a women-owned mission driven business based in Vancouver, Canada. Our mission is to help our customers 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 reusable 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 in 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 environmental concerns. Many simply want to be more comfortable - or to free themselves from endless trips to the drugstore to buy more supplies. Some 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 “discreetly” 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 “eww” factor?
Initial discomfort with the idea of being in closer proximity to one’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 “Wow, they’re so soft!” 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:
  • Number of employees: 10
  • Certified B Corporation Since 2012 - View B Impact Assessment


  • Number of disposable pads & tampons diverted from landfills per year, thanks to customers using products: 20 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 applicators added to landfills annually in North America: 20 Billion


  • Making donations since: 2001
  • Countries: Cambodia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Jamaica, Haiti, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mexico, South Africa, Sudan, Uganda, Zimbabwe
  • Number of women/girls helped: > 17,000
  • Number helped via Lunapads' investment in AFRIpads: > 500,000