We must look at all categories where we can offer plant-based and sustainably sourced choices for intentional consumers. There has never been a time where we need to be more collectively conscious of the products we consume, and acknowledge their impacts on our long-term health.
As a seasoned executive in the consumer packaged goods market for more than twenty years, I’ve had the opportunity to watch first-hand the remarkable evolution of major consumer trends tied to healthier lifestyles.
Consumers have transformed the retail landscape at large, as almost every category in your favorite grocery store now has a beautiful organic section carved out for those with natural preferences.
Our Gen Z children, the future buyers of this country, are eager to uncover where and how the products they consume are sourced, asking for “Meatless Mondays,” and making conscious choices about what goes in and on their bodies.
More celebrities are jumping on the vegetarian or “flexitarian” bandwagon — I challenge you to open Instagram and not see a post about plant-based products or the plastic waste produced by traditional alternatives.
This growing trend is great news — for our health, for the environment, and for the emerging businesses that are launching innovative new products daily to improve our well-being.
The question I ask is this: What about the less buzzy, but arguably most significant market categories such as feminine care? I said it; stay with me. Even if you are a male reading this, you have a Mother, Sister, Aunt, Wife or Daughter ... and we all share the same planet.
My cousin and I founded TOP the organic project® (TOP) because, when we went looking for organic and eco-friendly feminine hygiene products for our daughters, we realized there were few options.
For decades, the feminine care category has operated with a complete lack of transparency as companies are not required to list their ingredients nor test their impact on women’s health.
There have also been significant (and largely ignored) environmental and social impact issues that have gone completely unaddressed by the masses.
Every year, more than 20 billion period products end up in landfills, in the United States alone. Mainly composed of plastic materials and by-products, period product waste has a measurably negative impact on the environment, derailing global sustainability efforts, as each plastic tampon and pad takes thousands of years to decompose.
As a mom-owned social impact company on a mission to make sustainable, organic period products accessible for all, we recently launched a plant-based applicator tampon, the “PLANTICATOR” — a high-performing alternative to the traditional, plastic-based tampons that dominate 90 percent of the market today.
Image credit: TOP the organic project
Benefits include a reduction in the use of fossil fuel resources, faster decomposition and an overall decrease in toxins; as well as eliminating BPA — a hormone disruptor with documented health risks for women and girls — altogether.
With the bioplastics market predicted to skyrocket from $6B to $19B+ by 2026, TOP aims to transform the period landscape with options that are better for you and the planet, similar to the evolution we're seeing with plant-based food and drink.
We recently visited the flagship store of one of the country's largest retailers, near their corporate office. It was a beautiful store with every aisle curated to meet all of your mainstream grocery needs with plenty of natural and organic alternatives. The store had both a sports bar and a wine bar — we have indeed come a long way since the grocers of our past.
We were in awe of this modern shopping experience until we reached the feminine care “cove” at the back of the store. It looked like an aisle from the late 1980s, at best. When we asked the buyer why it looked so dated versus the rest of the store, he simply shrugged his shoulders and said, “There just hasn’t been much innovation in that category.”
Our primary mission is to give every woman a choice to be proud of in the feminine care space, through innovation and a long overdue makeover for the feminine care aisles at grocery stores nationwide. It’s our responsibility as global citizens to look at all categories where we can offer plant-based and sustainably sourced choices for intentional consumers who are paving the way for a brighter future. There has never been a time where we need to be more collectively conscious of the products we consume, and acknowledge their impacts on our long-term health.