ECCI start-up Lilypads has just aunched a Crowdfunding campaign with Royal Bank of Scotland’s Back Her Business scheme. We caught up with founder and EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator alum Alison Wood - the brains behind the firm’s innovative, sustainable and reusable sanitary pad - to find out more.
What’s your company about, in a nutshell?
Lilypads is on a mission to ensure no one is disadvantaged by her body. For many people across the world, a period day is not just a day like any other. A lack of access to sanitary products and menstrual education can lead to unequal opportunity. This must stop.
Through our work internationally, we listen, we understand, we provide a space to learn. We enable women to make the choice that’s right for them, unlimited by circumstance. We offer a different perspective through education and a new opportunity with our sustainable, reusable sanitary products.
How has the EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator programme at ECCI helped you and your business?
Lilypads was on the EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator programme in 2019, for us the programme was much more than training to start a business. It gave us the chance to learn with other similar businesses who were all balancing environmental impact and profitability.
Together we were able to support each other with how to communicate our message and impact to our audience, advice about manufacturing and support when things didn't go to plan!
Being based at ECCI was a real bonus - it’s a great place to work with other businesses also in the industry foamily and informally, bouncing ideas off over a coffee.
Through EIT Climate-KIC we were also given access to an incredible mentor, Lesley Wood. She spent hours working with us to refine our messaging, understand our customer and make sure we got that all-important product-market fit! It was a pleasure to work with the ECCI Climate-KIC team, the cohort and their mentors who stretched us to make Lilypads the company it is today.
When we started the programme in summer last year we were prototyping the pad, researching different manufacturers as well as investigating different customer groups. The programme supported us to critically think about our materials, where we were manufacturing and our audience to ensure we were making an environmentally sound product that fit consumer needs. As a consequence, we're manufacturing in Lithuania with European sourced materials and are using super soft and absorbent materials to provide the fit women want.
What’s the climate impact of your product?
For many women, the fear of leaks while on your period can be horrendous - even when you are wearing a cup or tampon. But wearing and changing pads throughout the day to prevent them is annoying too. Our super-soft pad 12-hour pad feels like underwear while providing a second layer of effective protection.
For each women converting to Lilypads, our reusable sanitary pad will save the carbon equivalent of driving a car for 4500km.
Tell us about the current Crowdfunding campaign then!
We’re working with Back Her Business - a business start-up programme for women from RBS and Crowdfunder.
The scheme helps women entrepreneurs turn their ideas into business, providing crowdfunding coaching, funding, mentoring, workshops and events.
The campaign launched today, Tuesday 21 July and runs for 28 days. Please check it out and support us!