Organic Initiative’s (Oi) products—100% organic cotton women’s sanitary tampons, pads and panty liners, as well as menstrual cups made with medical grade TPE—are designed and priced for the mass market. By being 100% certified organic cotton, products are free from synthetics, chemicals sprays, perfumes and dyes, and can naturally biodegrade in five years, while synthetics take about 500 years or more, according to the company. Oi’s mission is to take plastic out of hygiene products, starting with feminine hygiene.
Helen Robinson, the company’s co-founder and CEO, believes all women should have choice about what they use. “Women deserve only the best, yet affordable, sanitary necessities. It is critical that every woman can buy safe, 100% certified organic cotton—not just cotton which is such a highly sprayed plant—and non-synthetic products at a reasonable price, from their local store.”
Oi’s pads, tampons and liners are certified organic globally, and also certified organic in New Zealand with the BioGro certification. “Our view is that all women deserve a premium, healthy option, and the world deserves a biodegradable option,” Robinson adds.
The brand launched in New Zealand in October 2015 and is in nearly every store in the country. Last year, Oi incorporated its U.S. headquarters in California and arrived in some U.S. stores. This year, the brand is expected to hit 12,000 stores in the U.S. market. In fact, last month the company announced it would be available in most Walmarts across the country.
Next up for Oi is the launch of the only organic cotton certified feminine hygiene products for young girls. “Feedback from customers and extensive research showed a gap in market for young women who are getting their periods earlier (as young as eight years old) and their needs are for smaller, lighter product ranges,” Robinson says. Oi Girl will be available in HEB stores in Texas and in a range of supermarkets in California in this month.
Robinson believes organic femcare is on an upward trend. “When we look at what the statistics are, they show a continued growth in the organic space. If you look at New Zealand, for example, we’re the primary player, and we’re growing exponentially, so it has to come from somewhere. We talk about being the new norm in the [femcare] market, and it’s inevitable that more women will choose organic. I think it will probably happen faster than people think, but it is up to us to make sure that we educate the market.”