For media/press inquiries, click the link to our Press Kit which contains an overview of our work, history, values, and impact data, along with information about our co-founders Kathy Walkling and Jessamijn Miedema. You can also find FAQs about cloth pads and a folder of photos and brand assets that may be used in articles.
For further inquiries, drop us an email to [email protected]
Eco Femme in the news
Below you can see a compilation of news articles that have featured Eco Femme over the years.
20 simple ways to go green in 2020
Segregating your waste? Carrying your tote for grocery shopping? Switching to a bamboo toothbrush? There’s more to be done. Here are 20 easy yet impactful ways for you to make a difference. Read More…
5 Social Impact Startups Revolutionising Feminine Care Across Asia
For many of us, feminine hygiene and women’s care products seem like a basic necessity. However, in many countries all over the world – including in our own city – millions of women are still unable to gain access to the products, healthcare and education they need. Read More…
Environmentally conscious alternatives to make your monthly cycle a little better
The conversation around our monthly period is slowly changing. Social media is breaking the taboo, phone apps are making it easy to track symptoms (the iWatch OS6 has caught on too), portable gadgets like Livia help soothe period pain, and e-menstrual cups, like Looncup, sync with your mobile phone and send notifications when they need to be emptied. Even though all these inventions haven’t officially made their way to our shores, indie brands in the country are stepping up to provide alternatives that are better for you, and the environment. If you’re switching up your skincare products every few months, maybe it’s high time you update your menstrual stash, too? Read More…
How these women entrepreneurs are leading the ‘go-green’ movement
It’s easy for many of us to use and throw waste, including plastic, paper, glass, and clothing, according to our convenience, without a second thought. But with the planet bearing the brunt of our habits and attitude, we can no longer be careless about the products we use and the way we dispose of them. From decor made from upcycled trash, to eco-friendly sanitary napkins, composting and more, these women entrepreneurs are encouraging people to lead environmentally conscious lives, through small changes. Read More…
Interview with Ecofemme, India based women-led social enterprise
Pacific Roots Magazine, July 2019
Eco Femme is a women-led social enterprise founded in 2010. Based in Tamil Nadu, India, their goal is to create environmental and social change through revitalising menstrual practices that are healthy, environmentally sustainable, culturally responsive and empowering.
Ecofemme makes cloth pads which sell in approximately 24 countries around the world. Ecofemme is a social enterprise working both ‘for profit’ and ‘not-for-profit’. Profits from the international sales (those outside of India) fund their non-profit work, providing women and girls in India with access to menstrual health education and free or subsidised cloth pads through their Pad for Pad and Pads for Sisters programmes. Read More…
How Eco Femme began making cloth pads cool again from a village near Pondicherry
When she first moved to India from Australia in 1997, Kathy Walkling already had cloth pads on her mind. But it took her more than two decades to spread the same love to the people in her adopted country. Based in Auroville, Pondicherry, she is one of the masterminds behind the ‘clothing pad revolution’ as their brand has come to be known.
“Initially, I was struck by the challenges Indian women had to face when it came to menstrual practices,” explains Kathy. Along with her co-founder, Jessamijn, she set about on a mission to create a sustainable alternative to disposable pads for the women of Auroville. “We first came up with the idea of cloth pads for the women who lived with us in our community in Auroville,” explains Kathy. Read More…
Let’s Talk About Your Period…
As a woman born and raised in India, I learnt to not discuss my period. And I’m hardly alone… There are millions of women in the country who feel the need to take home sanitary napkins in black polythene bags, suffer through PMS in silence, or refer to their period as ‘That time of the month’ in order to be able to speak about it. However, it’s not just the taboos and myths around the subject—deep rooted in our culture—that create the illusion that menstruation is inherently ‘shameful’, ‘gross’ or ‘weird’. Read More…
‘Pad women’ out to win over schoolgirls
In December last year, Priyanka launched a programme “A Period of Sharing” with focus on reusable cloth pads for girls in government schools. “This is a project in collaboration with a Tamil Nadu-based reusable cloth pad manufacturing enterprise, Eco Femme. The project aims at creating awareness on menstrual hygiene and distribution of reusable cloth pad among girls. It is devoted to busting myths and social taboos along with sensitizing girls towards environment by making a shift from non-biodegradable sanitary napkins to reusable cloth pads. “Eco Femme is supplying us the cloth pad free of cost,” says Priyanka. Read More…
Re-usable plastic-free pads keep women and nature healthy
Student of the World, 10 April 2017
Even though they concern half of the world’s population, menstruation topics are a taboo around the globe. We don’t often talk about female hygiene products. However, disposable sanitary napkins and tampons come with tremendous costs for both the female body and the ecosystem. In recent years, re-usable female hygiene products have gained popularity. Jessamijn Miedema co-founded the social enterprise Eco Femme, based in Auroville, South-India in 2010. The all female change-maker team not only produce re-usable napkins. They also dedicate their work to lifting the issue out of the taboo zone by working with students in schools. Read More…
8 Simple Ways To Provide Free Menstrual Products To Girls And Women In Need (Updated)
Social Good Moms, 20 March 2017
Every 28 days, millions of girls and women in developing countries miss school or work – up to 50 days per year – because they lack access to affordable menstrual products. And, it’s not just a problem in poor countries. Right here in the United States, women and girls who lack means often need both menstrual health education and reusable menstrual products.
Here are ways you can help them on their missions to provide women and girls with products that simply make their lives easier.There are many businesses and organizations out there doing great menstrual health work. As we discover more of them we’ll add them below because many give back to various regions of the world.
Tribal girl students promote eco-friendly cloth pads
VISAKHAPATNAM: Girl students from the tribal villages in Araku are not aware of Women’s Day. But as women, they too want to make a difference and do their bit for the environment. And how? These students are promoting the use of eco-friendly reusable cloth pads instead of the usual sanitary napkins to reduce the number of sanitary pads going into garbage landfill by February 2018. The students also plan to educate their urban counterparts when they visit Araku about the importance of using these reusable pads. Called Pad4Pad programme, the cloth kit can be used for almost two years. Donated free of cost by Auroville in Puducherry, each kit of ‘Ecofemme’ consists of four reusable cloth pads in a special bag.
A revolution in the world of sanitation, period!
The New Indian Express, 7 Nov 2016
CHENNAI: Menstruation and hygiene have been issues that women have been concerned about for ages. While the market is filled with disposable sanitary napkins (gel-based pads), environmental activists claim that a single disposable pad can take 500-800 years to decompose. If you’re one of those people who wants to create a sustainable environment, but haven’t been able to think of an alternative, here’s your blessing – cloth pads by Eco Femme!
Eco Femme: The Relationship Between Menstrual Health And The Environment In India
Ladies, perhaps you have wondered what happens to the non-biodegradable menstrual products we use every month. Many of us might have had an inkling that it isn’t good for the environment. Despite this, we continue to use the products, believing that there isn’t another way, or, in some cases, knowing that there are alternatives but being too afraid to try them.
Eco Femme, located in Auroville, South India is a growing social enterprise that designs and stitches washable cotton pads, sells menstrual silicone cups, and conducts menstrual educational seminars for women, children and societies across rural India. They provide a livelihood for 10 rural women in Auroville, who stitch the Eco Femme cotton pads.
The IPF spoke to Laura O’Connell, Eco Femme’s Communications Officer, who told us about the various projects Eco Femme has been a part of since its establishment in 2010.
World Environment Day: 15 Indian Businesses That Deserve Your Custom For Promoting Sustainability
Huffington Post India, 5 June 2015
In the words of a famous muppet, it ain’t easy being green. Walk into a local department store and one’s likely to be surrounded by products that prioritise disposability and convenience over the environment.
An informed and conscientious customer must read the fine print in every product label to analyse the lifecycle of a product, how it affects the user and the environment. To make your buying decisions easier, we reached out to sustainability enthusiasts who gave us their personal recommendations of entities–businesses and non-profits–that are environment conscious. These are brands that make eco-friendliness a core part of their product offering. From organic clothing to composting kits, this roundup looks at entities that can help you make better choices. Read More…
Three grassroots projects that Modi’s Clean India campaign can learn from
Narendra Modi has reached out far and wide to get his Clean India campaign off the ground. From industrialist Anil Ambani to former cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, the prime minister has called out to prominent Indians—on social media and elsewhere—to galvanize support for the mission, which aims to spruce up India within five years.
Even Modi’s cabinet ministers have taken to sweeping the streets lately, making for perfect photo ops. But the much harder work of actually cleaning India is more than just wielding a broom.
Here are three projects—with critical grassroots involvement—that have interesting solutions to India’s massive cleanliness problem. Read More…
Girls must have their say
Personal hygiene. Health risks. Choking rivers. The connecting factor — menstruation — is a social concern, says Usha Rai.
A small group of NGOs working on health issues and calling themselves Bejhijhak (which means ‘without hesitation’ or inhibitions) got together in the Capital recently for starting a dialogue on menstruation, breaking the various myths and taboos around the issue and improving menstrual education, management and hygiene. School children set the mood for the discussions by performing street plays on those unspeakable five days.
Menstrual Hygiene Day seeks to break the culture of silence and ignorance that plagues 335 million menstruating women and girls in India — 113 million of them adolescents. Seventy per cent of mothers consider menses dirty and polluting and pass on their biases to their children. Menstruating women and girls are still not allowed into kitchens, puja rooms and temples, nor are they allowed to touch utensils. Read More…
Breaking myths and taboos
Half of the world menstruates – at some point of time. Yet nobody talks about it.
Menstruation and menstrual hygiene are issues that concern women all over the world; yet the subject is almost always relegated to whispers. This is something which the first ever World Menstrual Hygiene Day, observed worldwide on Wednesday, hopes to change.
In Auroville, Eco Femme, an organisation that makes reusable sanitary pads, partnering with WASH United, a non-profit organisation, celebrated the occasion at the Visitor’s Centre. Women from villages around Auroville, Aurovilians and visitors who dropped in at the centre were encouraged to participate in an informal session on making hand-stitched cloth pads. Read More…
8 Low Cost And Eco Friendly Ideas Which Have Revolutionized Women’s Sanitary Hygiene In India
Menstruation is one thing which almost every woman has to deal with. Every month.
Many Indian women still use scrap cloth from old saris and towels, the traditional method for managing menstruation for thousands of years.
On average, a single woman generates 125kg of sanitary waste during her menstruating years when she uses disposable sanitary products. This is avoidable waste.
It is a natural process and yet people, even women, hesitate to talk about it. To break the taboo, a coalition of international and national organisations will observe the first-ever Menstrual Hygiene Day today (May 28). So cheers to a good start and here is a list of 8 brands that offer you cheap, affordable, hygienic and eco friendly pads. Read More…
Every woman’s guide to eco friendly menstrual products
The Alternative, 03 August 2013
My last article, Menstrual Cups: time to reduce that monthly plastic? on eco-friendly menstruation options received a tremendous response, not only from ladies, but also from several guys who told me that they referred the article to their sisters and wives. Even today I receive frequent emails asking me questions about menstrual cups and pad. I have been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of people towards such options.
This article attempts to answer many frequently asked questions related to eco-friendly menstruation options. Menstrual cups and cloth pads are the two major options that are available in the Indian market; hence I will discuss both of them here in detail. This will also help in answering the general queries that I have received from many of the readers. Read More…
SRM University Award
Eco Femme received an award for “genuinely creating a transforming impact on the lives of Indian women”!
SRM University, Kattakulathur, presented Women Pacesetter Awards to Kathy Walkling of Eco Femme, pilot Bavicca Bharathi, and Kausalya for her work among HIV-positive women. Prema, nurse at SRM General Hospital, was presented the Florence Nightingale Award at the 2-day Global Conference on Women Leadership. View Times of India mention…
Back to basics: Eco Femme Puducherry making washable cloth-based sanitary pads
Ever wondered what impact menstrual hygiene has on the environment, with all those disposable sanitary pads used and thrown away every month? Can women adapt to healthy, affordable menstrual practices that are also eco-positive? Eleven women in Auroville, Puducherry, are trying to prove just that. They make up Eco Femme, a women’s empowerment and self-help group, that stitches and sells washable cloth-based sanitary pads. The group’s output is 1,600 pads a month — mostly sent to the U.K., the U.S. and the Netherlands. Now Eco Femme is trying to expand within India. Read More…
Celebrating the Launch of Eco Femme for International Women’s Day
Crimson Campaign, 10 March 2012
On March 10, 2012, at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, UK, Eco Femme is launching its work in the UK by making available a range of washable cloth pads that have been produced by members of women’s self-help groups in rural India. Eco Femme is a women’s empowerment project rising from rural India and reaching the world promoting menstrual practices that are, healthy, dignified, affordable and eco-positive. Crimson Campaign is lucky enough to be working in partnership with Eco Femme to share our projects and wishes to celebrate how Eco Femme is about menstruation. In the safety of small groups, women learn about the importance of hygienic practices and begin to accept and develop a healthier view of themselves through the process of exploring the myths and taboos that surround menstruation in India. Read More…