Contributed by Maria Paula Murad, ILSC Digital Marketing Specialist
“Let’s teach our girls, from the beginning, a different way to see themselves,” says Suzanne Siemens, Co-founder of Lunapads, and the first guest in a new Community Talks Series at ILSC-Vancouver.
The aim of the Community Talks is to bring in local experts to share their wisdom and experience on a variety of topics related to the environment, community building, social responsibility and more.
On April 24th, Suzanne shared with students and ILSC staff why she left a successful business career to pursue work that aligned with her values around social justice and environmental activism. In 2000, Suzanne joined forces with Madeleine Shaw to co-found Lunapads, an award winning socially innovative company that specializes in natural and sustainable alternatives to disposable feminine hygiene products.
Suzanne and her partner Madeleine shared a common vision for better health for women and the planet. As a result, 1 million feminine hygiene products are now being diverted from landfills every month. They are part of a fundamental shift in how companies operate. Paul Zysman, ILSC Chairman, agrees: “It was an excellent presentation by a very socially conscious entrepreneur and a great example of remodeling products to be cradle to cradle.”
Lunapads integrates social and environmental principles into all aspects of their business. The company’s products are used by women in over 40 countries worldwide and Lunapad’s activities are changing perceptions and empowering people on a local and global scale. “I found the talk very interesting, since I came to learn a different point of view,” shares Maria Du Plessis, ILSC student.
Lunapads is also home to Pads4Girls, a program that provides cloth pads for girls and jobs for women in developing nations. After traveling to Uganda in 2012 to learn more about the relationship between hygiene and education for girls, Lunapads established One4Her, a buy-one-give-one model that supports AFRIpads, an Ugandan social enterprise.
Another example of a social initiative the company is involved in is the promotion of G Day, a new global social movement anchored by day-long events that celebrate and empower girls ages 10-12 as they transition into adolescence. Among other accreditations, Lunapads is a B Corp, which means it is certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.
Stay tuned for more upcoming Community Talks!