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[InfoBref] - Innovative young Québec company (Révélation 2023 de Startup Montréal)

Iris + Arlo offers healthy, sustainable menstrual products

  • Many menstrual products can be found in convenience stores.

  • But many are not environmentally friendly, and some contain chemicals. Montreal-based start-up Iris + Arlo designs menstrual products made from natural, eco-friendly materials.

The problem the company is tackling is that menstrual products can harm the environment, and the health of menstruating people.

"Menstrual products can contain chemicals, and they have a considerable impact on the environment," explains Lara Emond, founder and CEO of Iris + Arlo.

A person will use over 10,000 menstrual products in their lifetime, she says.

This is problematic, because:

  • the materials of which they are made can take hundreds of years to decompose;

  • many microplastics contained in disposable products end up in waterways.

Iris + Arlo's solution is to manufacture menstrual products using environmentally-friendly materials that are harmless to human health.

The company offers a range of single-use products, such as tampons and menstrual pads.

  • They're made from organic cotton and biodegradable materials.

  • "Organic cotton contains no pesticides, which is better for your health and the environment," notes Lara Emond.

The start-up also offers reusable products, such as menstrual pants.

The company's business model will be to sell its products through 3 channels:

  • its website, with a subscription formula;

  • convenience stores, such as pharmacies;

  • companies that want to offer these products to their employees.

"Out of a concern for inclusiveness, more and more employers are providing menstrual products free of charge to their employees," says Lara Emond.

  • Companies subject to the Canada Labour Code will be required to do so from December 15.

Iris + Arlo has positioned itself as a company with a social and environmental impact.

It will donate a portion of its production to charity.

The company recently obtained over $100,000 in participatory financing from the non-profit organization La Ruche.

  • In total, the fundraising project raised over $265,000, thanks to additional financing from Fonds Mille et UN pour la jeunesse, Desjardins and the Fonds ADM / 375 idées de PME Montréal.

Iris + Arlo is one of 20 start-ups selected this year for Startup Montréal's Bourse+ program.

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