Freda is the first truly organic, eco-friendly period care range that is rebooting femcare for the 21st Century. Aimed at modern, health- and socially-conscious women, its tampons are made of 100% certified organic cotton that is biodegradable, hypoallergenic – and free from chemicals and synthetic fibres commonly found in some big brand tampons – whilst their pads contain 100% eco-friendly, biodegradable materials. Freda is on a mission to break down taboos and stigma by normalising conversation around periods. The company has been created for women by women – and they give back to women as a portion of every Freda purchase is donated to initiatives worldwide tackling period poverty.
“From transparency to a responsibility to access, the whole femcare space needs rebooting. And Freda is here to reboot it”, says Freda founder Affi Parvizi-Wayne who started the company after seeing refugees stuck at European border crossings on the news and wondering how they managed their periods. “We want to talk openly about the subject without patronising women or telling them how to live their periods. We want to embrace how we experience periods and start recognising them as a sign of a healthy woman”, Affi adds.
Freda is an online subscription service which understands that every cycle is different, and allows you to select your own combination of products and absorbencies based on your period. Using artificial intelligence to predict your start date its online period tracker allows you to sync the delivery of your products to ensure they arrive a few days before your cycle. The tracker combines an advanced algorithm and insight from specialist consultant gynaecologists. As you input your personal data, the algorithm gets to know your period cycles over time which makes even irregular periods more predictable and the Freda delivery timelier.
Freda tampons and pads are made in Scandinavia and Central Europe where they have been producing different period essentials for over 70 years. The tampons are made from 100% naturally-absorbent, breathable, hypoallergenic organic cotton for enhanced protection and performance – and free from chemicals and synthetic fibres found in some big brand period products which mean they are kinder to you and the environment. Freda pads are made with eco-friendly materials including 100% chlorine-free, renewable and sustainable wood pulp for their superior ability to absorb and retain liquids. Individually wrapped in bio-film, they contain no dyes, fragrances, deodorants or any polymer-based absorbents found in some big brand period products – and are hypoallergenic for sensitive skin and improved protection.
Freda is an advocate of ingredient transparency in this space. “I was struck by the lack of available information around what actually goes into pads and tampons,” says Affi. “Just as we pay attention to what goes into the foods that we eat and the products we put on our skin, we should also be able to make a more informed decision when it comes to the most intimate product we as women use. Do women realise that some high street pads and tampons are actually made of chemicals, fragrances, dyes, rayon, polyester, polyethene, polypropylene, chlorine and pesticides which are linked to health conditions? And would they continue buying these brands on auto-pilot if they did?”, says Affi. Freda wants to reframe periods from secret to private, and from dirty to healthy – which is why you will not see the word ‘sanitary’ on any of their products – and bust myths about everything that goes in to big brand tampons and pads – primarily that they are over-engineered and offer a level of protection way beyond what is required, just to gain retail shelf space. From today women have another choice – natural, organic period care products that are free from chemicals, without compromising on protection, given that cotton is the most naturally absorbent material.
Freda advocates responsibility around period care provision for women and girls worldwide regardless of their circumstances. “Access to period care is a basic human and universal right, not a luxury”, says Affi. The lives and education of hundreds of millions of girls worldwide are impeded by not having access to period essentials – and in 2018 that’s simply not OK.” A portion of every subscription to Freda goes towards worldwide initiatives tackling period poverty both in the UK and internationally including A Bloody Good Cause, a UK initiative to provide pads to refugees and the homeless, Bloody Good Period, which provides asylum seekers with better access to period care, and Killi Pads, a microenterprise in Tanzania which produces reusable cloth pads with locally sourced materials for local school girls, many of whom live in poverty, with little access to running water, hygienic facilities or basic period care.
When it comes to accessibility, Freda believes pads and tampons are essential health and hygiene products and should be as widely and freely available in public places. The company is on a mission to get forward-thinking offices, hotels, gyms, and schools – spaces where they are currently considered a ‘perk’ – to stock period care products freely and conveniently. Freda also has retail plans to make them available on the high street. “By offering better access to period products we’re helping to normalise what is a natural process”, says Affi.“After all, we’re not expected to carry around our own toilet paper. From today, women now have better access to period care and an easier way to manage their periods.”
Named after Freyja who, in Norse mythology, is a goddess associated with love, sex, beauty and fertility, Freda believes that having honest conversations is key to creating a generational change towards bringing periods to the forefront of awareness which will help to bust myths, break taboos and normalise the conversation. “One day it will become the norm for a new generation to talk about something which half the population go through monthly so they’re not embarrassed when they go to school or work and can talk freely about it. And this is important because it affects how women and girls view themselves, which affects confidence – and confidence is the key to everything”, says Affi.
A Freda subscription costs around £6.99 a month and can be purchased at myfreda.com