What inspired you to start Honest Pad?
In 2018, while distributing food for children at a school for my son’s birthday, the girls in attendance expressed a need for high-quality sanitary napkins instead of food. This experience inspired me to start Honest Pads, a venture aimed at providing sanitary pads to those in need.

Can you tell us more about the problems facing women and young girls in India regarding menstrual hygiene?
The lack of awareness about menstrual hygiene, safe methods of using pads, different types of menstrual products available in the market, and the proper disposal of sanitary napkins are major issues facing women today. Furthermore, the absence of education on menstrual hygiene for both girls and boys is contributing to the persistence of these problems.

How does Honest Pad aim to solve these problems?
Honest Pads does not endorse organic sanitary napkins, as there is no such thing as an entirely organic pad due to the use of plasticizers in the absorbent material. While some companies claim to offer organic pads, they are often priced too high for most people to afford. Instead, Honest Pads provides premium-quality, affordable sanitary napkins made with bamboo charcoal chips in the center to absorb moisture and odour, while the antibacterial properties of charcoal prevent rashes, itching, and irritability. Users have reported that these pads are free of wetness, making them stand out from other brands. Honest Pads also offers solutions for proper disposal of the napkins, including incinerators that can be used to burn not only their own products but also other types of napkins and diapers. They collaborate with various communities and IT companies to promote this approach.

What makes Honest Pad different from other menstrual hygiene products available in India?
Honest Pads refer to themselves as the “8 hour pad” because they recognise the challenges women face in changing their pads every two hours as recommended by gynecologists and doctors, especially in today’s world where women work long hours and may not have access to clean and safe public restrooms. Their pad is designed to be worn for up to 8 hours, with doctors even recommending it to their patients due to its use of bamboo charcoal chips in the center to keep the area dry and free from irritation, rashes, or a moist feeling. This unique feature sets it apart from other pads that may leave users feeling sticky, hence its nickname.

How has Honest Pad been received by women and girls in India?
While Honest Pads is available for purchase throughout India online, it is currently only available for offline purchase in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Despite this limitation, the product has received an overwhelmingly positive response from women of various ages, with around 1000 individuals testifying to the product’s effectiveness in keeping them dry for extended periods of time.

How do you plan to expand the availability and accessibility of Honest Pad in India?
Currently, our brand can be found on various social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn, as well as our website www.honestpads.com. We are taking a cautious approach to expanding our offline presence and plan to do so gradually in response to natural market demand rather than pushing for rapid expansion. Currently, we are available in several pharmacies and modern trade outlets in Chennai, from Nungambakkam to ECR, and are now expanding to cover other areas of Chennai. We anticipate expanding to Coimbatore and other areas in the coming months. While our expansion may be slow, we believe in taking a steady and deliberate approach to ensure sustained growth.

How can individuals and organizations support your mission and the Honest Pad brand?
We are distributing our sanitary napkins to various establishments such as colleges, hostels, and IT companies where there is a large population of women. In addition, we are providing education on the proper disposal of the pads to avoid harmful impacts on the environment. We have been collaborating with various organizations to spread awareness about this issue and make progress towards our goal of reaching 90% of women in India within the next two years. Our mission is to not only promote our brand but also advocate for menstrual hygiene and environmental sustainability.