New Schull-based company is helping to fight period plastic

May 20th, 2021 11:45 AM

By Southern Star Team

Aine Kilkenny, Fiona Parfrey and Lauren Duggan launched the business so they could ‘do periods better.’

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A WEST Cork-based company has just launched a business selling subscription boxes of eco-friendly period products.

Called Riley, it was set up by an all female team of Aine Kilkenny, Fiona Parfrey and Lauren Duggan who wanted ‘to do periods better.’

Based in Schull, their mission is to ensure their period products do as little damage to the environment as possible by bringing periods into the 21st century.

Riley was born during lockdown, when in conversation about the period product industry over a glass of wine, the three friends realised that no one was going to change things for them, and that they were going to have to do it for themselves.

Lauren said: ‘If people can make the switch to reusable coffee cups, cotton pads, and even electric cars, why can’t we switch to eco-friendly period products? We wanted to create a product that changed the conversation around periods, that was a clarion call for higher standards around the products billions of people use every month.’

Fiona added: ‘Our menstrual cycle is the most natural thing in the world and the products we use to facilitate it should reflect that.’

Products from Riley’s online store are delivered on a monthly or quarterly basis. All products are made from 100% GOTS certified organic cotton, which means there are no added chemicals or toxins. The majority of their packaging is compostable, and the applicators on their tampons are bio-based and made from sustainable sugar cane.

The girls all have a business background. Aine (32), originally from Dublin, most recently worked as a manager in software company Salesforce. Fiona (30), from Cork, most recently built a sustainable outdoor e-commerce brand called Sundrift which she is in the process of selling to focus full-time on Riley while Lauren (30), also from Cork has spent the last six years in London working for a tech start-up. She is currently selling her house to make the move back to West Cork next month to focus full time on Riley.

The plan is for Aine and Lauren to be based full time in Schull, while Fiona will work remotely in Dublin for now.

Riley also contributes €1 for every box sold to Irish registered charity Development Pamoja in Kenya. This results in them sponsoring a menstruation education programme in10 local schools and supplying sanitary products offering 1,000 young girls access to basic sanitary products.

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