Seeking better options for us females when it comes to that time of the month all while doing our part for the planet, Liya and Varenya co founded Lotus.Eco. Biodegradable, environmentally friendly and hypoallergenic tampons made from 100% certified organic cotton.
Your organic, eco-friendly and Australian owned brand is so inspiring. What is the story of how Lotus.Eco come to be?
Varenya is the number cruncher that had her skills forged in the manufacturing industry. Liya is the commercial strategist that meandered her way through banking. We’re both entrepreneurially minded and experienced with past attempts at solo ventures. A chance meeting through a mutual friend brought us together however our passion for environmental and social change has kept us together.
Because we’re passionate about sustainability and have a love for doing business for good; we believe there’s a better way of doing business and consuming. Starting a business was a no brainer. This initiative takes us on so many adventures and thrusts us into life. We feel so much more “at home” than ever before. It also allows us to impact the world in a positive way much more than we could in our corporate careers.
As a catalyst for sustainable living why is this value so important to you, Liya and Varenya (co-founders), and the Lotus.Eco team?
Sustainability is such an important value to us because, as you, and everyone reading this has seen first-hand; the damage our existing consumer behaviours and practices are causing to our minds, bodies, souls. More importantly, our environment. Without our environment, there is no us.
At our core, the promise is to thrive based on this value (sustainability) in its various forms and make ethical decisions that care for the global environment and communities we belong to – this is one value that binds the whole Lotus.Eco team.
We love your transparency with customers, tell us more about Lotus.Eco’s contribution to a circular economy.
We’ve made a conscious choice to delve into every part of our supply chain to ensure that it’s sustainable or move towards more sustainable practices. This means, zero or minimal impact to the environment, ethical labour practices and zero toxicity to the human body.
We’ve also partnered with suppliers who share the same belief to eliminate waste, reuse resources and put back into the earth what we take out. Even our printing partners use vegetable-based inks which are much safer for the environment, in the event that any of our printed material ends up in landfill. Which we hope it won’t!
In terms of our actual product, the organic tampons are certified by Global Organic Textile Standards which maintains strict environmental standards when it comes to growing of cotton (non-GMO crops), farming cotton (no pesticides used) and manufacturing tampons (no toxic chemicals used and ethical labour employed). Our packaging is made from sustainably grown plant-based bioplastic. It’s certified against European (EN 13432) and American (ASTM D 6400) biodegradable and compostability standards.
All of this results in reduction of carbon and greenhouse gas emissions, thereby combating climate change.
Ritology and Lotus.Eco are well aligned being female founded and sustainably driven brands. Was there a driving force to create a sustainable brand together and have you noticed any significant obstacles to overcome? How did you navigate these?
Absolutely! Ritology and Lotus.Eco share so many similarities and I’m sure we share some similar challenges. The non-negotiable for both co-founders of Lotus.Eco was and still is our passion and drive to be a sustainable business thereby doing business for good. Although we have our ideals which drive everything we do, there are inescapable obstacles that come with achieving this. For one - the year 2020; we didn’t predict anything that 2020 was going to throw at us! The main way we’ve been able to overcome in the last twelve months was to be adaptable, nimble and keep looking for opportunities to grow the business in a chaotic environment. Throwing in some grit and perseverance also helps!
There are also challenges that come with trying to build a 100% sustainable business. Mainly, the higher cost relative to traditional businesses. Once sustainable supply chains and business practices become more commonplace, the cost of being a sustainable business will surely come down. In the meantime, to overcome this obstacle we’ve had to be innovative and creative with our supplier partnerships.
We believe that one action and one person has the power to make a difference. What are some tips and daily rituals you can share to live a lighter, more sustainable life?
Using Lotus.Eco tampons and Ritology shavers, of course!
There’s something else we share in common; we also believe in the same ethos! We strongly believe that we need to think about sustainability holistically, if you can take care of yourself in a sustainable way, you can then do that for your community. Then, as a natural outcome the environment benefits.
The first action we would recommend is to adopt the ethos that you talk about - as an individual, we can do so much. This mindset allows you to understand that your choices and actions are very impactful. It also then allows you to reframe how you approach seeing the value of consumables and services. You begin to question the real cost of a product based on the impact to the environment and inevitably on your health.
On a more practical level, we as individuals that want to make a difference, challenging ourselves about the environmental and health costs of a consumable every time we choose to purchase something new or upgrade something that is still working. We also reconsider the daily consumables we’re using to see if we can replace them (when they’ve run out) with something more sustainable. For example, at home, we use bamboo toothbrushes, ‘Dirt’ laundry liquid, maintain a compost, grow our own vegetables (and some fruit), use energy saving devices, have installed solar panels, use sustainable gas/electricity companies and now, we’re looking into sustainable superannuation.
What are some key milestones that you believe has gotten Lotus.Eco to where you are today?
Though we only launched in 2020, Lotus.Eco has been a lifelong passion project coming to life for both co-founders. We as children were obsessed with messages of saving the planet and its inhabitants from pollution, but were powerless to act. As adults we’ve volunteered on various conservation projects in our spare time.
The more we travelled and saw different parts of the world being affected by pollution, single use products, waste management strains and commodification of human capital, we knew we wanted to do something to change the status quo. And now that we’ve got means to act and scale sustainability activities through menstrual products, we did.
We spent 2 years thinking about our why, our brand and researching how we could build a sustainable supply chain to offer environmentally, socially and health conscious menstrual products. Obviously, without compromising on quality.
We have had to pivot our business a few times on 2020, having started only online, we have sought to expand into work place amenities to support menstruators in the workplace as one of may much-needed initiatives for diversity and inclusion action.
Is there anything exciting you can share that Lotus.Eco is working towards for 2021 and onwards?
Lots! We have a very exciting 2021 planned! We are thrilled about kicking the year off with our campaign #Januhairy that is all about freedom of choice and empowerment, core to our values as a business. We will be announcing our support for the incredible organisation that is Happy Boxes Project and working more with our social partnerships Environmental Justice Foundation.
We’ll be looking at introducing more exciting products in 2021, currently in the planning phase, so make sure you’re following our social media channels to be the first to know.
Shop Lotus.Eco here.