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Eco Femme is a global women’s empowerment initiative. Rising from rural India, reaching out to women around the world, we promote and revitalise menstrual practices that are healthy, dignified, affordable and eco positive.


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Eco-Femme works in the areas of



We produce and promote cloth washable pads, an alternative menstrual product, which lasts for approx 75 washes and can prevent on average 600 disposable pads or tampons from being thrown away during that same time. Our pads are made of cotton flannel which is not only reusable but when cared for properly, can reduce the risk of infections and irritation.

When it comes to the most popular branded disposable sanitary pads:

The top layer, often called a dri-weave top sheet, is made of polypropylene – it is essentially a plastic fleece.

The biggest component is the padding, made usually of wood pulp mixed with SAP (super absorbent polymers) – a plastic based gel which draws fluid away from the surface towards the bottom of the pad

The leakproof layer is made from an impermeable polyethylene, non-woven film

Fragrances are sometimes added

Contrary to popular belief, most disposable sanitary pads are made almost entirely of plastic. Furthermore, they do not have to be sterile as they are not considered a medical device.

The plastics and components of disposable menstrual products are largely non-biodegradable, presenting huge waste management challenges around the world. A single pad is estimated to take up to 800 years to decompose; disposed sanitary products fill landfills and in communities and countries without waste management systems they pollute water bodies, communal toilets, and roadsides. 

In the Indian sanitation and plumbing systems, it is not uncommon for sanitation workers to descend into manholes to remove sewer blockages and to handle used menstrual products when removing them from public toilets, household trash, or even the roadside without any protective clothing.

In many parts of the world, disposable menstrual products are burned along with other waste; this causes dioxins and other chemicals to be released and creates toxic ash and fumes.

The products we use add up. If only a quarter of India’s menstruating adolescent girls alone used disposable pads, 90 million would be disposed or burned every month alone.



Marginalized rural Indian women in self help groups with our outreach partner Auroville Village Action Group (AVAG),  earn a living wage by stitching cloth washable menstrual pads. We believe that women generating their own income is a key towards empowerment and greater freedom and development for women in under-served  communities.



We develop educational resources and work with schools and NGO's facilitating educational programs that foster a responsible, healthy and dignified menstrual experience for girls and women. Education includes yet goes beyond a biological understanding of the menstrual process. It opens a crucial conversation in a way that is respectful of culture while providing a safe space for women and girls to question their menstrual experience, social restrictions and product choice. These conversations build trust and community, and they are vital for reproductive health, as many of the women we work with do not have access to regular checkups, and are unaware of their body’s natural biological functions, i.e. what is considered normal or healthy and what is cause to seek medical attention.


Pad for Pad program: 

For every Eco Femme washable cloth pad sold outside India, a pad is donated to a girl in rural India as part of our Gift a Pad program.  Four donations are clubbed together to form one kit that consists of 4 pads, a travel pouch, an educational booklet and care instructions. Pads are distributed to girls, ages 10-19, who come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Gifting is embedded in a larger group intervention that includes an educational seminar. The seminar topics cover menstrual and reproductive health, and information about the proper use and care of cloth pads. We are reaching on average 100-200 girls per month. The program is also regularly evaluated to receive the girls’ feed back and assess the usage and acceptance of the program. Since September 2013 we have begun to spread this program outside of Tamil Nadu working with with implementation partners in other parts of India who are ready to conduct the educational seminar and offer cloth pads to the same target group of girls.


Contact us: 

Eco Femme, Saracon Campus, Kottakarai (near Ganesh Bakery), Auroville, 605111, Tamil Nadu, India.


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Femme Mandala Oct 2014





GreenAcres campaign

Fundraising for expanding the Auroville Greenbelt.

Our eco-zone is under threat of rapid urbanization, this is an urgent move to reverse the trend and extend activities.

Know more here

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