No one can now ignore the fact that plastic is polluting our planet and damaging ecosystems. Yet few people know that the most commonly used brands of menstrual pads are 90% plastic, nor that the well-known brands of tampons are not 100% cotton, but contain rayon, polyester and polypropylene and as such are not biodegradable. Mondays is 100% plastic free.
Location: Zürich, Switzerland
Product / Service Offering: On-line Subscription Service for Sustainable Menstrual Products
Co-founder Interviewed: Nancy Saddington
Other Key Management Team Members: Elisabeth Dewey
This article is part of our Women Entrepreneurs Spotlight Series featuring female entrepreneurs and their companies. We hope these founders’ interviews will inspire and motivate you as you undertake your own entrepreneurial journey.
Tell us a little about yourself with a focus on what motivates you?
I am the co-founder and CEO of Mondays. I am a wife, a mother and an entrepreneur with a passion for provenance and the environment, motivated to find ways of making the sustainable choice the most convenient and desirable choice.
When did you establish your company and where did the idea originate?
The idea for Mondays was born out of the recurring problem that I never had the menstrual products I needed when I needed them! Like many women, I regularly forgot to purchase these essentials.
My husband has a shaving subscription and I realized a subscription for menstrual products would improve the quality of my life! The idea for Mondays was born!
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What need or needs does your company seek to fill for its customers?
Mondays address the need women today have for a more convenient, hassle-free, digitized life. Shopping for menstrual products is a hassle no one needs. And making environmentally friendly choices when buying menstrual products simply takes up too much time for most people to bother. Mondays mean women can purchase sustainable menstrual products, have none of the guilt and save time in the process. A one-time registration and your menstrual products will arrive on your doorstep, in time every month. One job less!
What is the one thing that sets your company apart from its competitors?
Mondays are 100% plastic free. The global problem of plastic pollution is on the international radar. No one can now ignore the fact that plastic is polluting our planet and damaging ecosystems. Yet few people know that the most commonly used brands of menstrual pads are 90% plastic, nor that the well-known brands of tampons are not 100% cotton, but contain rayon, polyester, and polypropylene and as such are not biodegradable. I am not even talking about the packaging or the applicators here, just the products themselves.
Women use on average 25 menstrual products per month, that’s 11,000 products in a lifetime, which is an awful lot of unnecessary one-use plastic. Mondays provide an alternative: sustainable plastic-free menstrual products that are bio-degradable.
What was the biggest challenge you faced while getting your company up and running, and how did you overcome it?
Being brave enough to take that first step! The idea was easy, realizing this idea was THE IDEA took a bit of thinking about but taking that first step, how to go about enabling this idea to become a reality was hard. Asking Elisabeth to join me in this venture as my co-founder was the first step and together, we have moved Mondays from “Idea” to “reality”. We are gaining momentum, preparing to launch and currently part of the Kickstart Accelerator Program in Zurich, where we will #makeithappen.
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Are there resources you have utilized that other founders might find compelling or useful?
I find the podcast, “How I Built This”, Guy Raz, compelling listening. It is a show about innovators, entrepreneurs and idealists and the stories behind the movements they built. It provides me with endless inspiration.
What steps have you taken to secure funding for your company and what, if anything, would you do differently if you had to start over?
We have got this far bootstrapped. We are currently in the process of raising our first round of financing. Femtech and menstrual products, in particular, are not industries that many VCs know or understand, but with the combined force of our tenacity and the rise in plastic awareness we are on our way to the funding we need. If I could start over I would follow my initial instinct and get started sooner.
Have there been any questions you have had as an entrepreneur of a fledgling startup that you had a particularly hard time finding the answers to?
The trickiest question for us has been “What is the more important USP to Mondays: convenience or plastic free?” We have struggled with this question and the conclusion is BOTH! Mondays, like the women we serve, is capable of doing more than one thing at a time! Mondays is convenient AND plastic free.
What challenges, if any, are you grappling with?
The biggest challenge is funding. We have a physical product; therefore, our business cannot be compared to many tech startups. There is an upfront capital investment required for the minimum order quantity of products.
We are in the process of overcoming this by conducting an ongoing financing round. If you are interested in investing in Femtech and you are reading this get in touch now, don’t miss your chance!
What is the most helpful tip or “hack” you’ve ever learned, stumbled across, or been given?
I read a great book, by David Hieatt, it is full of terrific insights on how to build a purpose-driven brand, including: “99% of businesses fail for one reason. They don’t start.”
Is there anything else you would like to share about your company?
Mondays is a Femtech brand for women, by women.
- As women ourselves, we understand that every woman’s menstrual cycle is different. We offer a personalized selection of products for every woman.
- As women we understand these are products you simply want to miraculously appear, in time on your doorstep every month. At Mondays we organize that to happen for you.
- As women, we love nice packaging, designed to function well and look good. At Mondays, we have revolutionized the packaging. We can’t wait for you to see it!
Are you familiar with other Women-led startups? If so, we would like to hear from you. Tell us about them in the comments below!