Like most great things, MoonPads was born out of a mistake. In 2019 our partner non-profit, The Pureland Project was conducting a program in Tibet to address widespread gender inequities that were identified from decades of work with Tibetan and foreign midwives. They reported that 95% of Tibetan nomadic women surveyed had preventable diseases associated with the lack of menstrual hygiene products, including underpants.
Out of a sense of urgency, the team began buying and distributing the panties and pads that were available in the stores in towns, taking truckloads out to the plateau and distributing the supplies to nomads, educating them about how to care for oneself during menstruation.
After some months, and great reviews of the project, the founder meg was working on a different project and took the project manager aside to tell them that they were not allowed to use single use plastics for their project- she referred back to the handbook which she had written and recognized her own hypocrisy. As a lifelong environmentalist, and sustainability educator, she was mortified at her oversight. Why was she giving plastic pads filled with chemicals to nomads?
The team then tried introducing reusable pads but found that there was no water to wash them and too much stigma and shame to dry them outside in public - even in front of family members it was too embarrassing.
Following that fail, meg attempted to introduce her favorite option: the cup, which, even the most open minded midwives refused, as it was just too awkward to insert anything into their vaginas. Additionally the lack of water and the disposal of the blood was going to be an issue.
Out of zero waste options, but desperate to resolve the issue, we turned to the folks who made the movie "Pad Man". We contracted machines and organic, biodegradable materials from India and arranged for a factory site in Tibet, to employ women to make biodegradable pads that would be both sold at low cost through the rural midwife network and distributed for free. We hit another wall when the shipment hit Shanghai customs and the so called "legal customs documents" from the Indian company were not accepted by Chinese custom agents. Un able to move forward with that option, we went searching again.
In 2021 our team tested all of the biodegradable pad options manufacturers in China had to offer. We became connoisseurs of pads, and chose the best ones, after conducting a factory tour and reviewing all certifying documents we entered a partnership agreement and began to design our pads with the company. The team began educating and distributing the pads widely across the Tibetan plateau.
In 2022 after thousands of reviews and tweaking our design, the team began to sell the pads on a buy one- give one model. MoonPads entered the US market in February of 2022 through Amazon and continues to look for ways to share our organic, biodegradable and compostable products with more consumers.
We aim to build community to support one another throughout our menstrual cycles, smashing the stigmas around the blood that we all originate from.
Please join us and celebrate moon flow.