Val Emanuel, a Southern California native, conceived the idea for Rif care (Regenerative International Female Inc) a few years ago by looking at some of the terms and ingredients in feminine hygiene products that she didn’t understand.
“My ex founded a company called Circular Systems, and he works a lot with hemp — he’s been working with textiles for 25 years,” she says. “I was traveling the world with him and realized there were so many hemp applications that we weren’t using yet. I thought an industrial use could be interesting as an absorbent material, that’s how the original concept was born.
Rif care currently offers pads in three absorbency levels: regular, super and overnight. Pads feature a topsheet of hemp and organic cotton fiber blend, a responsibly sourced, chlorine-free tree pulp core – without the use of super absorbent polymers (SAPs) – and a backsheet made of sugar-based plastic, which makes it completely biodegradable. “My co-founder and best friend Rebecca Caputo is also working with our biotech partners to make our pads even more absorbent with other plant-based materials that have been underutilized.”
Emanuel thinks hemp is a great alternative to other plant-based options on the market. “The feminine care industry lacked an alternative as effective as cotton,” she says. “There were other products using bamboo, banana, and even someone who came out with pineapple fiber, but ultimately we needed something that had a naturally better fiber composition. , and hemp is antimicrobial.”
Emanuel claims that Rif care pads can biodegrade 100% in less than a year, in landfill or industrial compost. The tampon wrappers are also made of a sugar-based plastic that protects the tampons without having an extra plastic bag surrounding them in the box.
In terms of sustainability, hemp has about a quarter of the carbon footprint of cotton, and when it comes to comfort, she thinks it’s on par with cotton. “Imagine when you’re wearing a pair of underwear and you feel like you’re wearing nothing, we tried to get a blend of fibers that really captured that feeling. We tried about 10 different blends of fibers and then We’ve had it Plus 80% of women use sanitary pads and over half of them say sanitary pads are uncomfortable so we’ve really changed that The hemp/cotton blend is extremely soft and luxurious.
Rif care, which launched on Kickstarter, began shipping its first orders earlier this month and plans to expand to retailers in May. Products can also be ordered through the brand’s website, www.rifcare.com.
“I think now is the perfect time to launch a new feminine skincare brand,” says Emanuel. “There is so much more information available, and women are reading a lot and looking for other materials. We use hemp for something as practical as feminine hygiene, and it will help people realize the alternatives outside of synthetic options; this will shed some light on what we could use and let people know there are more options.