How LUÜNA began
The social impact period care company, led by women.
The problem with periods.
In 2015, whilst living in Hong Kong, I started looking at traditional period care brands with clarity for the first time, realizing none actually spoke to me or those in my life who value good design, honesty and purpose.
I was intrigued. Why did we expect so little from an industry that relates to such an intimate and important part of our lives? This question sparked what became 4 years of research into periods and the stigma attached to them.
The elephant in the womb.
In 2016, a few months after starting this research, I made a revelation that spurred me into product development. For the first time I learnt that, rather than using just safe cotton, traditional brands use a combination of synthetics and conventional cotton, materials both containing dangerous toxins.
Appalled by the lack of transparency around their ingredients and production process’, I stopped using these big brand products. Immediately, the irritations, discomfort and yeast infections I had suffered for years just stopped. I knew then that it hadn’t been my body causing these symptoms, it had been this unhealthy period care.
Making periods better.
I soon realized that, like me, over 90% of women & girls didn’t know what their period care was made of. We have no idea that the ingredients found in traditional pads and tampons are linked to chronic health issues like endocrine hormone disruption and endometriosis.
We have no idea that they contain materials which take up to 500 years to degrade. We have no idea that our negative period symptoms are often caused by these products, not menstruation itself.
I knew then that I had to do better, for myself, my friends and future generations of women. So I began product development, fundraising and community-building, laying the foundations to launch a new kind of company, one driven by women, that truly exists to make periods better; for our bodies, our planet and our sisters in need.Olivia Cotes-James
Olivia was born in New Zealand and educated in the UK. At the age of 22, she moved to Hong Kong to explore the city where her mother was born and raised. Here, and then later in Shanghai, she developed her skills in branding and marketing communications as a brand strategist supporting global and local companies.
In 2015, having grown frustrated by the limited access to tampons in Asia and the higher cost attached to these basic feminine care products, she began research into the effects of menstrual stigma.
Between 2016 and 2019, she split her time between Hong Kong and Shanghai holding period health workshops with hundreds of women, speaking to healthcare professionals and product designers to understand the deep-rooted health, social and environmental consequences of the traditional period care industry’s use of synthetics and toxic chemicals in their products.
It was these experiences, that inspired her to establish a social impact company striking a balance between essential products and positive social and environmental impact, championing women and leading taboo-free education in Asia and the UK.Meet the Team
Supporting the Sisterhood
Our mission is to ensure everybody has access to toxin and plastic-free period care unhindered by shame, taboos and misconceptions about their bodies.
1 in 3girls in South East Asia
1 in 10girls in the UK
This is the number of girls that miss school due to menstruation, demonstrating just one of the ways menstrual stigma hinders the advancement of our Sisterhood around the world. We’re here to help tackle this.
Every time a community member or partner purchases LUÜNA period care, we donate a Period Cup or pads to vulnerable communities.
This work is supported by the LUÜNA Period Collective; a global network of social initiatives through which we safely distribute LUÜNA products and educational workshops to those most in need.
In our first year of launch, we raised over 1,000 cups and 10,000 pads for donation.LEARN MORE
Making periods better
for our bodies, our planet & our sisters in need.
HEALTHY, PLANET-FRIENDLY PRODUCTS
We use only certified Organic Cotton and toxin-free materials. Better for our bodies and our planet.
We deliver taboo-free education around menstrual health English, Mandarin and Cantonese to corporates, schools and universities across Asia.
TACKLING PERIOD POVERTY
We collaborate with The LUÜNA Period Collective; a network of social initiatives across Asia whose staff and communities we support with donations of period cups and menstrual health workshops.