Iris + Arlo offers healthy, long-lasting menstrual products

Iris + Arlo offers healthy, long-lasting menstrual products

by Startup Montréal
4 July 2023

This article was initially published in French on infobref.com

Many menstrual products can be found in convenience stores. But many are not environmentally friendly, and some contain chemicals. Montreal-based start-up Iris + Arlo designs menstrual products made from natural, eco-friendly materials.

The problem the company is tackling is that menstrual products can harm the environment, and the health of menstruating people. “Menstrual products can contain chemicals, and they have a considerable impact on the environment,” explains Lara Emond, founder and CEO of Iris + Arlo. A person will use over 10,000 menstrual products in their lifetime, she says. This is problematic, because the materials they’re made of can take several hundred years to break down and
many of the microplastics contained in disposable products end up in waterways.

Iris + Arlo’s solution is to manufacture menstrual products using materials that are environmentally friendly and harmless to human health. The company offers a range of single-use products, such as tampons and menstrual pads. They are made from organic cotton and biodegradable materials. “Organic cotton contains no pesticides, which is better for health and the environment,” notes Lara Emond. The start-up also offers reusable products, such as menstrual panties.

The company’s business model will be to sell its products through 3 channels:

  • its website, with a subscription formula;
  • convenience stores, such as pharmacies;
  • companies that want to offer this type of product to their employees.

“In the interests of inclusiveness, more and more employers are providing menstrual products free of charge to their employees,” says Lara Emond. In fact, companies subject to the Canada Labour Code will be required to do so as of December 15.
Iris + Arlo has positioned itself as a company with a social and environmental impact. It will donate part of its production to charitable organizations.

The company recently obtained over $100,000 in participatory financing from the non-profit organization La Ruche. In total, the financing project raised over $265,000 thanks to additional funding from Fonds Mille et UN pour la jeunesse, Desjardins and PME Montréal’s ADM / 375 idées fund.

Iris + Arlo is one of 20 start-ups selected this year in Startup Montréal’s Bourse+ program.

Next steps:

The company continues to take pre-orders on its website. It plans to deliver its first products in the fall.

Lara Emond’s goal is to build “a world-class brand” to help fight a problem that is also global in scope.