World in Action, a national network television program screened in Britain in 1989, drew attention to the effect of Dioxin pollution, its major source of production, and the part it played in sanitary protection manufacture. The unconcerned response of the international feminine hygiene brands so appalled Susie Hewson that her immediate response was to develop her own range of tampons and pads, with full concern for the health of women and the effect of production and disposal on the environment.
In the late 1980’s the world was largely unconcerned about climate change, and public outcry about the effect of environmental pollution on our planet’s ecosystems was rare. Campaigning and action was left to organizations such as Greenpeace, The Women’s Environmental Network and Friends of the Earth who, to most, were considered to be principled hangovers from the campaigners of the 60’s and 70’s. One of their members, Susie Hewson, saw the direction we were headed and the consequences our actions would have on our planet, which led her to the creation of Natracare organic and natural feminine hygiene - the first of its kind in the world.
Susie Hewson dedicated her time to both her family and her new business. She began with the research and development of Natracare, exploring and researching the damaging raw materials used in the production of tampons and sanitary pads, and developing a viable, functional solution for women. Natracare was launched in 1989 with a full range, including the world’s first certified organic cotton tampons and totally chlorine-free sanitary pads and panty liners. But this was just the beginning of her quest.
The familiar sanitary pads and liners we have grown up with are made from over 90% petroleum-based plastic, and dioxin-releasing chlorine bleached wood pulp. The list of plastics used in feminine hygiene products includes polyethylene (used in disposable shopping bags), polypropylene and superabsorbent polyacrylates, the creation of which produces environmental and climate changing toxins. Plastic is not biodegradable and sanitary products containing these materials will pollute the land and oceans of the world for thousands of years.
Natracare’s multiple award winning range of organic cotton tampons, sanitary pads, panty liners, nursing pads and wipes are unique in being made from only certified organic and natural, sustainable and renewable materials that are biodegradable and compostable.
Natracare’s environmental commitment is reaffirmed by becoming the first brand to achieve a scientifically validated, independently accredited life cycle analysis in the form of an international Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) in 2008 as well as achieving an SIS green labelling accreditation. Susie Hewson obtained the Women in Ethical Business award in 2008 and in 2009, achieved an Ethical Accreditation, being congratulated on achieving an outstanding Ethical Accreditation Index score of 92, placing Natracare at the top of the table for the Sanitary Protection sector.