When Monica Bindra saw her teenage daughter experiencing constant rashes, allergies and discomfort every time she had her periods, she realised something needed to be done. A chemical engineer from BITS, Pilani, Monica already had 15 years of experience in market research behind her when she realised the need to introduce a sanitary pad that was gentler on the skin. And she knew she had to be the change.
There is no doubt that feminine hygiene often goes neglected and people tend to shy away from the very topic of menstruation. Even educated women are not comfortable in speaking about their period, their experience, the discomfort and the pain. The more Monica thought about it, the more she was convinced India needed a skin-friendly brand of sanitary napkins and a healthier approach.
As destiny would have it, she met brother-sister duo Nazish Mir and Ali Mir through a business associate. All three of them shared the same passion to help women in treating their bodies with better products and quality care. Together, they decided to create something that would not only be good for women but would be good for the earth as well.
They wanted pads that were rash-free, allergy-free and would also protect women from UTIs and yeast infections. After months of market research and product analysis, their brand LAIQA was born on Valentine’s Day, 2019.
The pads are free from chemicals like chlorine (dioxin is a toxic byproduct of chlorine and the bleaching process of pads, and can cause ovarian cancer). To design a pad that was “good for the earth”, they reduced the 70-80 percent plastic rate of regular pads to a mere 7 percent. They proudly call themselves an eco-friendly pad brand of India. They are packaged in disposal bags that are made entirely of paper and are 100 percent biodegradable. Sanitary-waste management is a neglected factor at present but it is necessary to dispose used sanitary pads in a proper way.
“The brand vision is to be the best sustainable feminine hygiene brand in the market, but first, always – a brand with a heart. We offer quality products and wish to garner a community of not only women but all people who recognise menstruation for both how normal and special it is,” says Monica, a Delhi-based mother of two.
Having lost a friend to toxic-shock syndrome (TSS), Nazish felt it was an unavoidable need of the hour. “We want to encourage women to love and accept themselves as they are and offer them a safe space, a platform where they can ask questions freely and learn what is best for them,” she says. TSS is caused due to the regular use of non-organic tampons, ones that contain plastic – as any regular tampon/pad does.
“Should we treat our most sensitive body part mindlessly, simply because we’ve been conditioned to accept their easy availability as our fate? LAIQA grew out of that intense need to not only do and provide better for women but also to educate them and let them know how plastic-laden products affect their bodies in various ways,” she says.
Another important aspect is giving back to society. With their running initiative BODO (‘Buy One, Donate One’) – where for every pack that is bought from LAIQA, a pad is donated to an NGO like Deepalaya, Dream Girl Foundation, Utthaan, and Wishes and Blessings, among others – lesser privileged girls and women from rural areas can also benefit. “A sustainable future is the only one to aspire for and LAIQA has proved to be the vessel through which we are able to create a successful model of sustainability,” adds Ali.
The pads are available pan India as a home-delivery service. They are also stocked up at various chemists and retail stores in the NCR and on Amazon, Flipkart, 1mg, Paytm Mall, Smytten and Pharmeasy.
The variants include pantyliners, day pads, night pads and a useful combo box containing both day and night pads. The napkins are feather-soft (it’s true, we’ve tried them!), super-absorbent and free of harmful chemicals. As the founders say, it’s time to move towards ‘a period of change’.
To place an order, call 9891310451 or visit mylaiqa.com