- British startup Callaly collects its second major innovation award in months for the groundbreaking Tampliner, the first tampon redesign in 80 years
REINVENTING a product as well-known as the tampon is a bold move. Add the taboo of menstruation and you have a serious challenge on your hands. But Callaly, the creators of the Tampliner – an innovative combination of a tampon and pantyliner – has risen to that challenge, and the hard work is already paying off. The British company has just won an IDEA Product Achievement Award for the best new disposable product utilising engineered fabrics in the past three years. The win was presented by INDA, the leading global non-wovens fabric association, in Miami Beach, Florida at its triennial global conference, which is attended by more than 7,000 industry professionals.
The news comes hot on the heels of Callaly’s INDA Hygienix Innovation Award win last October. In November 2018 the British startup also won a prestigious £1m loan from Innovate UK, the UK government body that helps innovative businesses scale up and commercialise new technologies. And in March 2019 Callaly CEO Thang Vo-Ta was named one of only 10 'People’s Champions' in the annual Sunday Times Maserati 100 innovative entrepreneurs list – more evidence that Callaly is one to watch this year.
The Tampliner was originally invented by gynaecologist Alex Hooi and developed by Ewa Radziwon, a garment technologist with 10 years’ experience in the fashion industry. Alex made the first functioning Tampliner, and Ewa perfected and tested the design for five years prior to the product’s initial soft-launch in early 2018. Alex and Ewa were helped on their mission by co-founder Thang, who brought the first-of-its-kind product to mass market via a monthly subscription model. The Callaly team has since grown to 14 people, all passionate about providing better, more innovative products to people with periods and putting an end to common problems like leaking, inflexible buying options and a lack of quality organic cotton products on the market.
Callaly is a certified B Corp, meaning it is committed to using business as a force for good. It has supplied over 100,000 period products to charities including Bloody Good Period and The Red Box Project, which work to eradicate period poverty and bust the menstruation taboo. In 2018 Callaly also donated more than 6 per cent of sales to Days for Girls, an international charity that provides girls living in poverty with reusable period products. Through its marketing, communications and social media content, Callaly is playing a leading role in changing the conversation around periods, prompting open discussion and awareness, and demanding higher standards for femcare products across the board.
Speaking about the latest win, CEO and co-founder Thang Vo-Ta said, “We’re absolutely delighted to have won a second prestigious award within a matter of months. The first award last year was a fantastic achievement, so winning two is just a huge honour. We’d like to thank INDA and the industry professionals from over 600 companies who voted for us. Femcare products have traditionally been seen as a taboo topic of conversation, so every win for us also feels like a small step forward for people with periods.
“Innovation is at the heart of everything we do, and the positive feedback we’ve had from our customers shows that, by questioning the way things have been done before and inventing something better, we can make a real impact on people’s lives. We’re excited to see what the future holds when we launch our full product range this summer.”