IIT Delhi start-up Sanfe launches reusable sanitary pads

Mirza Mohammed Ali Khan | | Updated on: Aug 20, 2019
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Sanfe looks to raise pre-Series A funding this year

Every year, there are approximately 12.3 billion disposable sanitary napkins that need to be disposed of in India alone. According to Menstrual Hygiene Alliance of India (MHAI), there are almost 336 million menstruating women in the country, of which 36 per cent use disposable sanitary pads.

Sanfe, an IIT Delhi-incubated startup that works in the female hygiene space, shared the above data as it introduced its latest offering — a reusable sanitary pad made with banana fibres, which can be washed and used up to 120 times. A pack of two costs ₹199.

Sanfe had already raised some funding and the company is currently in talks to raise $500,000 (around ₹3.5 crore) over the next four months in a pre-series A round. The company is in talks with the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) for this round of funding. BIRAC is an existing investor in Sanfe, along with the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL).

The company claimed that these pads dry faster (two hours under regular conditions) than the reusable cloth pads already available and absorb moisture better.

Sanfe’s pads are made of four layers, which ensure good absorption and prevent leakage and rashes, according to Archit Aggarwal, Co-founder and CEO, Sanfe.

“That accounts for one-lakh tonnes of plastic waste every year,” he added. The pads from Sanfe have been tested up to 72 washes and according to Aggarwal, can last up to two years.

The company’s products, including the reusable sanitary pads, are available on Amazon and Aggarwal said that they have already sold ₹15,000 to ₹20,000 worth of pads on Monday alone. Sanfe also has a retail network of over 1000 retail outlets in Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur, Tamil Nadu and Kerala and these reusable pads will available at retail stores in a month.

Aggarwal said that behavioural change was required so reusable sanitary pads could be adopted. “We are planning to approach the government, NGOs with our ‘#IBleedGreen’ campaign so that they can start adopting reusable pads,” said Aggarwal. However, he also said that women (end-users) in rural areas are already used to cloth, so there is no “significant behaviour change”.

Sanjay Kumar, Chief General Manager, Business Development, HPCL said, “As HPCL stands by the progressive thinking and meaningful innovations, particularly towards empowering women, it will explore ways to jointly popularise the reusable period care product range under the flagship initiative of Government of India – Swachh Bharat Abhiyan”.

Published on August 20, 2019

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