Enter OHNE: the startup bringing us 100% organic cotton tampons. If that wasn’t music to your ears already, OHNE’s big picture mission is to empower and liberate women to no longer shy away from their periods. Welcome to your “toxin-free, taboo-free, bullsh*t-free” period subscription box.
We sat down with OHNE co-founder, Leah Remfry-People, to talk about how it all began. Read our conversation below.
HURR Collective: What’s the mission of OHNE? How did it start?
Leah Remfry-People: OHNE is the bespoke, organic tampon subscription service on a mission to bring every babe the easy, stress free period they deserve, and the lovechild of me and my co-founder, Nikki. There are so many reasons contributing to why we started OHNE, it’s hard to distill them into one story! Nikki and I have been friends for years and never dreamed we’d go into business together until we found we couldn’t stop talking to each other (okay, mostly bitching) about everything we saw that was wrong with the period product industry. From our initial hatred of the hyper-feminine flowery designs on pads to the point when we finally researched what mainstream period products are actually made of (spoiler alert: a horrifying cocktail of nasty chemicals and toxins) and we realised there was no going back. We had to create the period product company of our dreams, because no one else was going to do it!
Describe OHNE in three words.
LRP: Toxin-free, taboo-free, bullshit-free.
OHNE tampons are organic and biodegradable—tell us more about how that works.
LRP:Unlike the mainstream tampon brands, OHNE tampons do not contain synthetic fibres, chemical additives, fragrance, dyes, chlorine bleach, residues of pesticides or herbicides. They also have superior leak protection, they’re hypoallergenic, unscented, and biodegradable.
Women will use up to 11,000 tampons over the course of their lifetime in the most sensitive, absorbent, and intimate part of their bodies —this is pretty much as serious as a product relationship gets! We want to make sure everyone is as educated as possible about what’s in their period products and the potential dangers and impact (both health-wise and environmental) of the products they choose to use.
Was sustainability part of the original vision for OHNE?
LRP: Making organic products was never optional for us—having a sustainable period product brand was always an integral part of the business, even when it was just a seed of an idea. Organic is a lot more in demand today than ever before, which is great because people are becoming more and more aware of the environmental and social impact of the products that they are using, consuming, and buying into. We’re really proud to say that, to date, we are the only organic tampon delivery service in the UK to have been certified by both the Soil Association and GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard). We’d never have just slapped the word organic on our product, because we want to consciously take a stand against greenwashing and virtue-signalling. We want to be accountable to our customers, so that they can feel 100% safe and happy with the products they’re putting in their vagina.
We’d love to hear more about your work in Zambia.
LRP:We’ve partnered with School Club Zambia, a grassroots social enterprise, whose Girl’s Programme was set up to improve the lives and education of young girls living in rural Zambia. Rather than donating single-use, disposable period products, for every box of OHNE tampons bought, customers are directly contributing to long-term change in rural schools. SCZ are building brand-new, clean toilet blocks in every school they work with, educating the students about menstruation, and equipping the girls with the skills they need to make their own reusable, sustainable sanitary pads from local resources.
We’re super passionate about this aspect of our business. Nikki has personally worked with the organisation in Zambia and seen first hand the incredible work that they do. Being able to support the community in an authentic, long-term way means a huge amount to us.
What item (other than tampons!) would you take to a desert island?
LRP: If I’m being practical, sunscreen—factor 50! But if I’m not, then a notebook and a pen (that counts as one item, right?!) I always need some way to be creative, and I reckon so long as I had a place to write and draw, I’d be pretty happy!
What would be your one piece of advice for those thinking about starting a company?
LRP: That if you want to make change in a specific industry you’ve got to truly believe in what you’re doing. You face a lot of ups and downs, it takes a thick skin, and a commitment to carry on even when things get a bit tough!
What’s next for team OHNE?
LRP:We’re just getting started! We’ve got big things planned for the brand, and I’m not going to spill all our secrets, but we’re currently focusing on expanding our team and expanding our product range – watch this space!
OHNE is offering all HURR members the first box free! Enter: HURRBOX at checkout and support the future of plastic free periods.