The company, which launches officially today, is founded by Affi Parvizi-Wayne who started the company after seeing refugees stuck at European border crossings on the news and wondering how they managed their periods.
As a result, a portion of every subscription of £6.99 a month to Freda goes towards worldwide initiatives tackling period poverty both in the UK and internationally. This includes, A Bloody Good Cause, a UK initiative to provide pads to refugees and the homeless, Bloody Good Period, which provides asylum seekers with better access to period care, and Killi Pads, a microenterprise in Tanzania which produces reusable cloth pads with locally sourced materials for local school girls, many of whom live in poverty, with little access to running water, hygienic facilities or basic period care.
The new start-up is also eco-conscious and introduces its own range of "100% certified organic cotton" tampons and pads that are eco-friendly and biodegradable.
While Parvizi-Wayne self-funded the startup’s initial costs, an unnamed angel investor has stepped in to help its first phase of scaling up.
The start-up has been in beta mode for the past six months, delivering its products to individuals, companies and gyms.
"Everyone has been so supportive and positive about the product and the experience it has really helped shape the brand. We get a lot of love for the way the products are delivered in nice canvas bags, as well as positive response to the change to organic," Parvizi-Wayne (pictured below) told Campaign
How the AI-part works
The attention-grabbing part of the start-up would seem to be its use of artificial intelligence, but is it useful for its subscribers?
Parvizi-Wayne pointed out that periods are cyclical but not monthly and women have varied flows.
"Traditional subscription services are all built on a monthly basis which is, 12 per year, as opposed to a menstrual cycle basis (on average 28 days per cycle approximating 13 per year). Many women have different cycle lengths and our algorithm over time will predict their average cycle length and ensure timely delivery so they're never caught without," Parvizi-Wayne said.
This extra customisation in terms of period cycles, products and absorbencies, as well as its sustainable and organic stance will set Freda apart from other period subscription companies in the UK, such as Pink Parcel, she said.
"Additionally, our mission sets us apart; easy and affordable access to period products for all," Parvizi-Wayne continued. "We have two charity partners, for whom we are their nominated donation platform. Their donors can order Freda pads at a subsidisied rate, without being a subscriber, and we deliver as when and when they are needed. This donation scheme compliments our own giveback pledge."
The main focus at this stage is to build awareness through content and distribution, said Parvizi-Wayne.
"We are investing in content- content that is engaging and meaningful, in order to connect with our customer through our social mission and our drive for transparency and sustainability," she said. "We are also investing in placing our products in places where our users are, and where it best fits with our access mission. We think that offices and gyms should all stock tampons for free for their staff, and so we have been working with early subscribers to help make this a reality too."
The launch campaign is being handled by Hot Cherry PR and also Mattr_media, a creative filmmaking agency that's creating the visual content. Freda also has a network of female creatives, illustrators and graphic designers, who also help create content for its social media.
Parvizi-Wayne plans to make Freda’s organic products available on the high street at some point, alongside with her aim to have period supplies freely available in public places.
"By offering better access to period products we’re helping to normalise what is a natural process," Parvizi-Wayne, said. "After all, we’re not expected to carry around our own toilet paper."