As founder of Only,Kat Plouffe is a 30-year old with a mission to disrupt the $500+ million Canadian period product industry – to make it better for people and the planet. Only is a new online eco-retailer offering affordable, organic cotton, sustainable period products. Plouffe helped launch Canada’s first, and world’s second, reusable tampon applicator (that can last up to 10 years!). They also offer a line of period products (tampons, liners, pads) made from only organic cotton that are biodegradable. Only is giving us many reasons as to why making this switch is worth considering now.
Did you know? 100 billion period products are thrown away globally each year, and the majority are single-use and non-recyclable. (source) Most of us don’t even know that there are plastics/rayon inside the pads and tampons we find on everyday shelves at our go-to big retailers. RAYON? We didn’t know.
It also can take 500 years for these plastic-filled pad and tampon products to degrade. Only has removed the synthetics, rayon, plastics and other harmful ingredients from pads, liners, tampons. Theirs are made of only organic cotton and are biodegradable, and also offers paper-based biodegradable packaging. Are you concerned about climate change, even just a smidge? If you are looking for affordable, sustainable and convenient alternatives to lower our own impact on the earth, this is one way you can make an impact.
Then, there’s the conversation about period poverty. In recent years we’ve learned that this isn’t just happening in other parts of world, but right in our own first-world regions. Shocked? We were. Period products should be attainable and accessible for all.
We had the opportunity to learn more about Only from Kat Plouffe …
What inspired you to start this company?
Kat: I started Only because I believed there was a better way to experience the commercialization of our periods. From the way we buy period products – instead of having people buy their products last minute at the drugstore, we ship them to their doors, to the ingredients used in our period products – instead of plastic-covered rayon products, we make our period products organic cotton and biodegradable materials.
I was also inspired by the realization that I didn’t know what was in my tampons. And when I found out all the big brands I’d been using my whole life we’re made with rayon, not cotton, I thought “well this has got to change.” I wanted to change the unsustainable materials used in traditional period products to create a sustainable period product option. I also wanted to change the way people purchased these products and that impact on the environment. This is why Only offsets all our carbon emissions for our delivery service through tree-planting initiatives in Canada through our partnership with 1% for the Planet.
Transitioning away from single-use plastic period products is just one small piece of a much bigger puzzle that we need to start assembling in order to tackle the environmental problems we face today and in the near future.
People are often surprised to learn that there is period poverty happening not just in third world countries but right here in North America. What can you tell us?
Kat: Period poverty is a relatively new topic in North American public discourse, despite the fact that it’s a widespread reality faced by 1 out of 4 Canadian menstruators; 1 out of 3 under 25. Since period poverty is only recently starting to be acknowledged on a federal level, we’re way behind in terms of solving the issue. Up until 2015, menstruators were taxed on their period products.
Thankfully, the Canadian government finally recognized period products as essential items and abolished the tampon tax. But the monthly bill for these necessary products still adds up; menstruators spend upwards of $5000 over the course of their lifetime on period-related products – a financial reality that people who don’t get periods don’t have to face.
Only donates to a charitable organization to help eradicate period poverty in Canada?
Kat: With every subscription, Only donates to a company called Period Packs whose goal is to increase access to period products in community centers and beyond; educate and advocate for period equity. Our missions and visions aligned quite well, and we’re excited to help them even more as we grow.
The terms “sanitary” and “hygiene” are ones that are associated with period products? What are your thoughts on this?
Kat: In relation to periods, using words like “sanitary” and “hygienic” implies that periods are “dirty” and connotes a feeling of shame toward this natural, monthly occurrence.
That’s not how we want our communities (both menstruators and non-menstruators) to think about periods – periods are a universal experience that is nothing to be ashamed of. Getting your period is as natural as going to sleep and waking up, so why should menstruators have these shaming words associated with their periods? It’s just another small roadblock – for women in particular – that we want to help clear for them.
We absolutely agree with you! And Only is also about inclusivity.
Kat: Absolutely – just as we avoid using words like “hygiene” and “sanitary” in relation to our period products, we also avoid using language and imagery that is overly feminine. Not everyone who menstruates considers themselves female or feminine, and it’s important for us to speak to all people who get periods.
What is one of Only’s biggest accomplishments so far?
Kat: One of the biggest accomplishments was securing a distribution agreement with one of the few organic cotton manufacturers on the planet – so we could bring Canadians a new line of organic cotton period products. Then began over three years of hard work to get their facility and products Health Canada approved. And our manufacturing facility is run on hydroelectricity; pumping back more energy onto the grid than it uses.
You can learn more about the company and how to order at getonly.ca
Enter for a chance to win a $75 gift card to be used on Only’s site for the period products of your choice!
Follow GetOnly.ca on Instagram and on Facebook for the latest news and information.
You have 4 ways to enter (enter at one or more and as often as you like!)
1.Leave a COMMENT below this post and tell us why you would like to try Only products.
2. On Facebook, head over to our AuburnLane page and look for this corresponding official contest post. LIKE the post and then tag a friend.
3.On Instagram, head over to our @auburn_lane page and look for this corresponding official post. LIKE the post and then tag friend in the comment section (tag as many friends as you like but make sure they are separate). Bonus entry if you share on your Instastory.
4.On Twitter, head over to our @AuburnLaneCA page and RT the corresponding contest tweet.
Contest closes on February 13, 2021 at 12:00 noon EST
No purchase necessary to enter. There is one (1) grand prize of $75 gift card available to be won. Contest is open to Canadian residents who have reached the age of majority in their province. Enter as often you like. Winners will be selected at random from all eligible entries. Winners will receive an e-mail or direct message from our administrator that will include information to claim the prize as well as a mathematical skill-testing question.
Selected entrant will have one week to respond from the time they are contacted. The Skill-testing question must be answered correctly in order to be deemed winner. The prize must be accepted as awarded. Prize is non-transferable. AuburnLane.com, Only, and our promotional/marketing teams reserve the right to discontinue this contest at any time or switch out any item for equal or greater value. AuburnLane.com, Only and promotional/marketing teams will never ask for any payment information in order to enter or claim any prizing. This contest is not affiliated with Instagram, Facebook or Twitter in anyway.