Mooncup MD Su Hardy has been offering an ethical alternative to tampons for nearly a decade.
Where did the idea for the Mooncup come from?
Menstrual cups have been around since the 1930s and I first came across them when I was backpacking in Australia. When I came back I started making my own out of more modern materials. The original ones were made out of latex rubber and I found that some women were allergic to those so I had a factory make them out of silicone.
How many have you sold?
Hundreds of thousands of them! We’ve been going since 2002 and have sold Mooncups to women all over the world – 65 different countries, all over Europe and other places like South Africa.
What are the benefits?
My main interest to start with was environmental. Because you have one Mooncup, you empty it and then use the same one over and over again. There’s nothing to throw away, no waste, no packaging every month. But there are other benefits. After about four months it pays for itself. There’s no drying so it’s much better for your vagina. It’s more comfortable, it’s more convenient. It ticks all the boxes: it’s safer, greener and cheaper.
What sort of women use it?
Green and ethical women were the pioneers. But now it’s really mainstream. We have customers who certainly wouldn’t consider themselves to be hippies. Women hear about it from their friends and they’re really enthusiastic about it. Our customers tend to be real evangelists actually.
Is it an ethical mission or a business first?
I would say it’s an ethical mission first. If you wanted to have a business to make money you wouldn’t produce something that’s as difficult to sell as a Mooncup and that had no repeat sales. As a business proposition it’s not a particularly good one!
You’ve won loads of awards, but what’s been your proudest moment?
Winning the Women In Ethical Business Award probably because the Eve Magazine readers actually voted for the Mooncup. I think that there’s something quite special about the fact it came from the public.
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