Chatting with Industry Leader, Eco-Friendly Feminine Care Brand Lunette
Founded by Heli Kurjanen, Lunette, the eco-friendly feminine care brand is a women-led company with their head office based in Juupajoki, Finland that has been going with the flow since 2005. Lunette’s founder, Heli Kurjanen, designed Lunette when there were only three cups on the market. Lunette Cup is suitable for all ages and flow levels, designed to flex with a body’s life changes. Raise Vegan had the opportunity for an exclusive interview with Heli Kurjanen and Marianne Sederholm of Lunette about the brand’s advocacy work, products, commitment to menstrual education, and more.
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Chatting with Industry Leader, Eco-Friendly Feminine Care Brand Lunette
Here are the excerpts from the chat.
In the growing space of innovative feminine hygiene products, it is female founders often leading the way, with personal experiences lending insight to product development, design as well as increased needs for advocacy and awareness. What are the thoughts at the Lunette team about this synergy of female insight and business development?
Marianne: Safe and sustainable menstrual health management is a basic human right for all people. We talk about the subjects we are passionate about as the authentic and joyful. We have the courage to say it out loud and proud. But we know what we are talking about and we are able to speak with authority. We may not burn bras but we’re up for publicly destroying inequality in whatever shape or size.
What is your brand doing for women for example with an innovative feminine hygiene product or with philanthropic work, social causes, etc?
Marianne: Our mission is to change attitudes about periods: nobody should feel ashamed of them, nobody should miss a chance because of them. We lead by example, practicing period positivity and shame-free bleeding. By educating people about menstruation, we are activating the power within.
Besides doing active work in our main markets, we also partner with NGO’s in low-income settings to provide free or subsidized products and sexual and reproductive health education. We want to change the world because it is possible.
What is the range of product offered by Lunette?
Marianne: We have Lunette Menstrual Cups but also cleansing products for the cups. Lunette Feelbetter Menstrual Cup Cleanser is scented with lemon and eucalyptus oil and it cleans the silicone cups well. Lunette Cupwipes is a great on-the-go option for sanitizing Lunette Cup and 100% biodegradable wipe. Great for traveling, hiking, festivals, you name it!
The market for eco-friendly feminine care products & hygiene is currently in a stage of really dynamic growth & innovation Where do you see Lunette in this global network of brands for eco-feminine products?
Marianne: We believe Lunette is the future of period care. We are committed to leaving the earth better than we found it. Lunette Menstrual Cup is made of medical grade silicone, 100% plastic free, there are no chemicals BPA or latex and the packaging is 100% biodegradable. When it’s time to get a new cup, you can burn the old one without contaminating the earth or air, leaving just a bit of ash behind. Now with over 150 brands to choose from, Lunette is the only one passing the vigorous Danish chemical safety test.
Our latest Lunette survey from 2018 shows good results: 99 % of the Lunette Menstrual Cup users would recommend it to others and 87 % of responders felt like their quality of life during periods improved while using a menstrual cup.
We’re proud of our products, and we work hard to make sure we’re offering our very best!
What is your brand’s favorite social media platform & in general what does your brand utilize social media for?
Marianne: We are active in social media and follow the daily conversations related to menstruation and menstrual care. We are mostly using Facebook and Instagram for marketing and spreading important info about menstruation and Lunette products for our followers. Part of our company’s ethos is to have excellent customer service and being actively part of the conversation with our customers on social media is an important part of that.
What is the eco-friendly beauty & feminine care community like in Finland?
Marianne: Although we are a Finnish company, our focus has been for years outside of Finland. It has been great to see how eco-friendly community has been growing in Finland, too, and that there are more options available every day. We are extremely happy to see that reusable period care products, especially our Lunette Menstrual Cup have gained a mainstream status.
What is Lunette doing on a local, community-based level as well as global level in terms of brand awareness?
Marianne: One of the biggest goals that Lunette founder, Heli Kurjanen, has is to bring the menstruation conversation to the mainstream.
Team Lunette believes in bringing education, opportunities, and intelligent period care solutions for every menstruating person. Because no one deserves to stop their normal day-to-day life just because they don’t have access to safe and comfortable menstrual care.
We do a charity program in which we educate school girls and boys about periods. It’s important to teach them what is happening with their bodies and what options they have and to make sure they can go to school. Also, it’s really important to have a charity aspect among adult women who are already working and educate women about their periods. Women and girls get infections because they use rags and mud. Menstrual cups help eliminate this problem. We want to empower girls and women all over the world. It’s possible, we can do that. Also, there have been a lot of studies that show that when women make money, they pour it into the community. So helping out the individual, we are actually changing the whole community.
Can you share more about Lunette’s work with Planned Parenthood, Project Consent, and Thirst Project?
Marianne: We believe positive change is possible and we’re working to prove it. Since 2010 we have donated over 30,000 cups to various projects all over the world. In the USA we have been working with Planned Parenthood for years as we also share the same passion of providing information. Project Consent works hard to educate people about the importance of consent, another thing that we strongly believe in too. Thirst Project, on the other hand, shares our passion for clean and accessible water, all around the world.
How do you think that providing accessible & sustainable feminine care products to women could change the future for women’s bodies & lives?
Marianne: Using the Lunette Menstrual Cup is the most convenient, ecological and economical way to live with periods. By providing safe and accessible period care products, we can make sure that people who bleed can get an education, work throughout the whole month and live healthier and in many ways better. Periods affect half of the population once a month and yet before the recent years, nobody wanted to talk about them. The more we talk, the more knowledgable we are and the more we can learn from others. Knowledge is power.
What is it like working at Lunette?
Marianne: I love my work! I’m able to work based on important values empowering girls and women all over the world and trying to save the world from plastic.
Special Note provided by Lunette:
In April 2019, Lunette CEO Heli Kurjanen was selected as Woman of the Year by the Business and Professional Women Finland Association. Lunette holds in high regards sustainable development and environmental issues. Being that women’s menstruation is still somewhat taboo in Finland and internationally and that in developing countries, menstruation may regularly prevent study and employment in the absence of decent period care protection. Heli Kurjanen has worked to exert national and international influence to alleviate attitudes around menstrual shame. Kurjanen has raised the issue of women’s status in the media and the pay gap between women and men. Kurjanen’s career in the field of hygiene products is an example of how environmental and equality issues can be successful as an international entrepreneur and promotes the menstrual revolution.
Since 1955, the Association of Business and Professional Women in Finland has named a woman of the Year. Alternately in the business world, a career, a social influence, or a woman of special merit in the field of science, who has realized the basic ideas of the union in her life. The aim of the association is to encourage young women to train and seek the best possible position in working life. In addition, the organization emphasizes the importance of internationalization and networking as a factor empowering us in both work and private life. By choosing a woman of the year, they not only want to acknowledge the great, competent Finnish women but also their example, to encourage women of all ages to use their talents for themselves, their associates, their professional community and our society.