A Danish startup is pioneering reusable menstrual products to help women go plastic-free on their period.
The company's latest product, LastPad, launched this week - after a successful Kickstarter campaign raised more than 20 times its initial fundraising goal back in 2021.
LastPad is a reusable menstrual pad for planet-friendly periods that "doesn't compromise on comfort and protection." It comes in three sizes (from pantyliners to overnight pads) and is made with three layers.
Each pad is made to last 240 uses and comes with a water-proof, smell-free carrying pouch. To clean, you just toss it in the washing machine with the rest of your laundry.
The success of LastPad’s campaign was maybe down to a hilarious promotional video that takes aim at “sh**ty” disposable period products.
You need to stop "suffocating your vagina with single-use fabrics," it goes on.
Contrasted with the humour are some sobering facts about the waste that traditional feminine hygiene products generate.
The video claims that menstruators use 400 pounds (181kg) of single-use pads every year. Many of these are up to 90 per cent plastic which can take 500 years to decompose.
The power of crowdfunding
The company behind the product, LastObject, has already funded the creation of a number of products.
Previous campaigns have been backed by more than 46,000 backers with the brand's flagship product, the LastSwab, raising over $1.2 million (€1.02 million).
“Our first product was launched on Kickstarter,” says LastObject founder, Isabel Aagaard.
“The reason why we use crowdfunding campaigns, it's actually not because of the funding, we could fund it ourselves at this point.
“But it's very important for us to validate our products, and especially because a lot of them are completely new products.”
Kickstarter is a male-dominated platform, so Aagard wasn’t sure that a product like this would take off. But with nearly 3000 backers so far, the response has been phenomenal.
The most sustainable design is not to design something
Aagaard hopes that the company’s work can put a dent in a “huge, trillion-dollar” industry that she doesn’t believe should exist.
“Our mission is to create reusable items that eliminate the need for single-use items,” explains Aagaard.
“It all came down to the most...the most sustainable thing I could design was to not design it, was to not produce it, was to not actually create it.”
“And that kind of was mind-boggling,” she laughs.
Packaging and shipping are a big part of the problem
It isn’t just the products themselves but the process that creates them which contributes to the mountains of waste we create each year. Aagaard wants people to understand the journey these products go on before they are sold to us.
“You know, it's very, very important that the products that we choose and that we buy, that we understand that they have come from not only being produced but also being shipped and packaged and packaged and packaged and put on several trucks to end up in your hand.”
Click above to see LastPad’s hilarious promo video.