women’s health Luxury

Carmesi: a stylish, sustainable solution— period

No more red tape   | Photo Credit: ANAND GOGOI

Shoving the neon green or purple packets of pads to the bottom of our shopping carts is a ritual many women standing in line at the grocery store or the pharmacy endure. While that’s not necessarily an issue for all of us, homegrown luxury brand Carmesi is looking out for the girls who are looking for something a little different.

26 year-old Tanvi Johri and her team debuted as start-up Elize, which relied on seed funding from angel investors to come to life. A recent rebranding to Carmesi — which is ‘crimson’ in Spanish — saw a considerable response from online platforms such as Purplle, Nykaa, Amazon and Flipkart, and buyers.

Naturally, being a premium brand, Carmesi isn’t inexpensive but not bank-breaking either; a three-month subscription costs ₹999 with 30 pads ranging across absorbencies, while a 12-month subscription costs ₹2999 with 120 pads spread across 4 shipments.

The company is currently working with about 5,000 active consumers, half of which are in Southern cities like Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore and parts of Kerala, according to co-founder Rikshav Borah. Tanvi adds that 70% of their market are working women aged 24 to 36, who were actively looking around them for better products already. The awareness around the structure of mainstream sanitary napkins is prevalent but the alternatives weren’t.

Importantly, the all-natural pads are biodegradable, a challenge to manufacturers that contribute to the 113,000 tonnes of menstrual waste India alone observes.

What’s in it?

Carmesi: a stylish, sustainable solution— period

The pads themselves are made of bamboo fibre which absorbs the period and a top sheet made of cornstarch, which ensures a no leakage experience, which we’d all appreciate. Feedback for Carmesi has included how soft and light the pads are while not at all being irritating to the skin.

The sourcing of every ingredient is also integral to the team for the sake of the environment, hygiene and comfort in the long run. “We have a contract manufacturer based out of China,” adds Rikshav, “and, for the packaging, we do it all locally.” The designs are done in-house, according to Tanvi.

“Pads are in contact with the most sensitive areas of the body; and not all the ingredients of the totally synthetic plastic-based pads out there are disclosed so women with allergies and irritation tend to experience a lot of rashes and chafing. Considering we are in summer now and a lot of India has tropical climate, that makes it worse.” Tanvi explains, “so we’ve done extensive research on the way in which we can improve such a situation.”

Customising the Carmesi experience became an important USP for the company and consumers alike. “We make it a point to tailor the delivery of our pads for each consumer; we discuss their cycle needs so that, when they sign up for the subscription, they’re supplied with pads before their cycle starts. We don’t have to hear of women running out and buying pads at the last minute.”

A new look

Carmesi: a stylish, sustainable solution— period

“When people see the name, they can evaluate it’s a creative brand, but also one regarding periods,” Tanvi points out, “We’ve used the colour red in our marketing which is important, because the more mainstream brands still use the colour blue in the place of menstruation. We see so much blood in our day-to-day lives whether when we hurt ourselves or watch movies, why can’t period blood be treated without hushed tones?” Their tagline, ‘it matters, period,’ invokes inspiration in women to own their cycles and to take care of themselves as they deserve.

Plus, the stylish marbling look of the packaging is always a plus — so pretty it’s worth an Instagram post. “Women often feel the need to hide their pads packets when they’re in line at the grocery store, so through a prettier packaging, we’re empowering them,” Tanvi comments, “Every element of the design was planned carefully to make women feel good about their periods. We’ve also looked at the disposal means so that women don’t need to carry bags around with them and in public washrooms, those facilities aren’t available so throwing pads away without covering it properly is sometimes a forced and unhygenic solution.”

Looking up to the likes of Molly Hayward of tampon subscription service Cora and Shradha Shreejaya of Sustainable Menstruation Kerala Collective, Tanvi is excited for the continual evolution of the period discourse and more to come.

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Printable version | Apr 20, 2021 7:49:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/luxury/carmesi-tanvi-johri-natural-sanitary-napkins-stylish-sustainable-solution-period/article23465493.ece

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