Back in the 1800s, most women either made their own cloth menstrual pads, bought washable cloth pads or chose to have their clothes absorb the blood. Indeed, cloth pads have always been the safest menstrual method used by women for millions of years. But due to its inability to be a leakproof product and the need to wash it off after each use, cloth pads were shunned by most women while they switched towards the conventional sanitary pads that are infused with loads of chemicals. Due to this switch, many women have been facing a lot of issues such as infertility, PCOD, undesirable side effects, heavier periods, worsened period cramps, and cancer too. Even G Malinee, the beloved Founder of Rebelle, the most natural menstrual pads, along with her friends faced a few of these issues back in 2017-18. Personally, she was using a cloth pad made from her mother’s used saree, which was comfortable but not leak proof and user friendly.
Considering her own issues as well as the women at large, Malinee decided to break the misconception of using cloth pads as an unhygienic habit and come-up with sanitary pads that are made of 100% organic cotton cloth. Hailing from the Kongu region of Tamil Nadu where one can source a wide range of fabrics with diverse textures, she procured different types of cloth fabrics, and experimented on those fabrics to come-up with dedicated fabrics for each layer of the sanitary pad including top layer, absorbent layer, and barrier layer. S Aravind, Co-Founder, Rebelle, asserts, “When my mother was creating these organic cotton cloth sanitary pads and selling them to women of Salem as a small-scale business, I was quite impressed”. Back then, people were comfortable only buying those cloth sanitary pads on a monthly basis, which were expensive when compared with the plastic ones available in the market. They appreciated the benefits of cloth pads and were still hesitant to wash and reuse.
That was when Malinee and her team decided to come-up with cloth pads for single use too. Also their reusable cloth pads were improved with extended quality so that women would understand the unrivalled benefits of using them over single use cloth pads. They plunged into the market under the brand name – Rebelle, in 2019, with 3 most economical and sustainable products namely single-use sanitary pads, reusable sanitary pads, and reusable panty liners. Many women slowly switched their choice from plastic pads to single-use cloth pads and reusable pads once they recognized benefits like leakproof, sustainable, economical and the comfort in Rebelle Products. That went on for years and very recently, the team at Rebelle outclassed as the trailblazers of bamboo charcoal blended cotton sanitary pads and panty liners in order to provide anti-bacterial, high absorbency, quick dry comfort, premium feeling, and many other benefits to their customers. Rebelle considers its reusable panty liners as its flagship product among various others!
Malinee adds, “For Rebelle, it has always been customers first! We were the first brand to introduce disposable covers and cotton pouch to carry single pad even in our single use product. We also provide wet pouch along with reuse pads as a package. And we now have also introduced a coconut-oil based natural, handmade laundry soap that can wash off any stain over our sanitary pads and panty liners. That’s the way we work, taking into consideration, all the needs and issues of our customers”. The main motto of Rebelle was to not repeat what other brands were doing in the market which includes bamboo charcoal synthetic sanitary pads but not with pure cotton.
Today, Rebelle owns a full-fledged manufacturing unit at Salem which is operated by 12-15 semi-skilled and unskilled women. At the management level, the company has Malinee (Founder), who takes care of Product Design, and her son – Aravind (Co-Founder) who oversees Management and Finance. The primary aim of Team Rebelle is to educate every worker that onboards the team about the manufacturing process and give them the requisite benefits to work seamlessly and passionately.
Happy Customers – A Happier Team!
Women who have used the products of Rebelle have never been much happy while most of their menstrual problems slowly faded away. Those who switched to Rebelle on a trial basis never went to back to using the conventional sanitary pads. With the greatest satisfaction and pride of contributing to the women as well as the society at large, Malinee and her team is all geared up to take Rebelle to newer heights. She owes all the appreciation from her customers and success to her entire team that has been working hard every day to achieve this!
Aravind concludes, “Our goal is to promote single-use cloth sanitary pads and to educate people on its multitude of advantages. Focusing on offering reusable sanitary pads to girls from rural parts of India through associations with NGOs and state governments is the long-term vision. We believe that every girl deserves a good sanitary napkin, which is free of chemicals and that can be reused for years. On the whole, every woman must understand that rashes and itches are not a part of menstrual cycle, and that they can prevent those by using our natural cloth sanitary pads and panty liners”.