As startup brands make waves, bigger players are getting in on the action
The last few years have seen a boom in new organic cotton-based feminine hygiene products. While bigger names in the natural space like Seventh Generation, Natracare and Organyc have been offering organic cotton-based pads, liners and tampons for years—even decades—new, smaller startups like Cora, Rael and Sustain Natural are shaking things up in the market, while big names like Edgewell’s o.b. and P&G have recently entered the organic space.
Just this week o.b., known for its non-applicator tampons, joined the organic feminine care market with the launch of o.b. organic, an all-new product line of responsibly sourced, 100% certified organic cotton tampons from tip to string. For the first time, this new line from o.b. is also available with or without a Tru-Comfort plant-based applicator—the only o.b. tampons to offer an applicator—made from renewable sources.
Organic Initiative (Oi), which launched out of New Zealand in October 2015, offers a line of 100% certified organic cotton pads, panty liners and tampons. Oi’s mission is to take plastic out of hygiene products, starting with feminine hygiene. The company is about to launch the only organic cotton certified feminine hygiene products for girls as young as eight years old. Oi Girl, set to launch this month, will provide smaller, lighter product ranges.
Organic cotton femcare brand Cora, which introduced its customizable online period care subscription in February 2016, continues to expand. According to co-founder Molly Hayward, the brand has grown 400% year-over-year since it was founded. Earlier this month the company announced it raised $7.5 million in Series A1 funding. Cora will use the new funding to support brick-and-mortar expansion at all Target locations, including broader in-store product offerings.
Launched in 2017, Rael's product line includes organic cotton pads and panty liners, as well as and biodegradable cardboard and non-applicator tampons. The company also offers a line of "Period Beauty" items including an assortment of facial sheet masks and acne healing patches that help alleviate hormonal skin issues that inconveniently occur during menstruation. Last fall the brand raised $17.5 million in a Series A funding round. In addition to global expansion, the company plans to use the funds to grow its DTC site, GetRael.com, while also exploring partnerships with major brick-and-mortar retailers.
In January, Combe Inc., the makers of Vagisil, announced its investment in Sustain Natural, a brand that provides natural wellness products for women including organic cotton pads, tampons and liners. Combe Inc., with seven decades of expertise in personal care products, will join forces with Sustain Natural to increase their impact on the women’s health industry. The strategic investment formalizes a vision shared by Vagisil CEO Keech Combe Shetty and Sustain Natural co-founder Meika Hollender to advance women’s sexual health and wellness.
Always and Tampax maker Procter & Gamble expanded its presence in the natural and organic feminine care market with the recent acquisition of This Is L., owner of L. products. L.’s portfolio primarily includes high quality tampons, pads, liners and wipes made with organic cotton. Previously, P&G had offered organic products with its Tampax Pure line of 100% organic cotton tampons, as well as Always Pure pads that feature an organic cotton top layer.