Reusable period knickers? Love or leave (and we love them of course)

Period knickers: love or leave! Our hello serena x Chitè kit keeps being one of Chitè best-seller products, as Chitè co-founders – Chiara Marconi and Federica Tiranti – want to spread awareness, together with hello serena founder Olivia Puri Negri, about menstrual cycle. All together, they have launched the first Italian period kit, made of knickers + organic tampoons. In this interview, Olivia is the real guest. She reveals the Lover’s Club her own path in life and career talking about her idea of ​​entrepreneurship, environmental sustainability and, of course, menstruation.

Olivia, you are the founder of hello serena and a young entrepreneur too. Would you like to introduce yourself to our readers?

I grew up surrounded by nature, in a dynamic and entrepreneurial environment. Since I was a child, I have always been very keen on sport, especially skiing. I have always turned passion into the stamina to achieve my goals. After graduating in Economics and Finance in Milan, I moved to Paris to get to know the world of fashion start-ups. This is an extremely innovative world, where progress and multitasking days have led me to develop the open-mindedness I never had before. As soon as I realised what the gap to fill in the market was, I had the courage to follow my intuition and ambition to support an important beauty revolution.

When and how was hello serena born?

Hello serena was born in 2018 in response to the media scandal arising from the chemical compositions of many traditional sanitary pads. The topic deeply touched me, so I started getting as much information as I could. At the time, I was living in Paris and had many friends who worked in the start-ups world, but none of them had interest in the female world. That was how my desire to give women a viable alternative took hold. Furthermore, I wanted menstruation to no longer be a taboo, for women not to be ashamed to address the topic, and that is why we have also curated sustainable packaging that could convey a message of acceptance towards women and men too.

Period knickers

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Your brand also shows great commitment to environmental sustainability (which Chitè embraces in many ways too, including the launch of period knickers). When did you begin to develop such a great sensitivity towards the issue?

Today, in my point of view, creating an innovative start-up business that is not intrinsically linked to the world of sustainability is a huge mistake. Since I was a child, I have breathed love for nature and respect for the environment in my family. As I have already said, I love any kind of sport as long as it is outdoors and surrounded by the landscapes I am very fond of. The thought of not doing my best to preserve them is quite distant from me. It was therefore very natural for me, when hello serena was born, to make sure that every parameter of society was as much as possible aligned with the SDGs, the sustainable development goals introduced by the United Nations, and I believe that each of us must do our utmost so that in 2030 these objectives are achieved.

How long did the research of materials take (I’m thinking of organic cotton) and how did you manage to create the perfect organic tampon?

Growing up with three sisters has certainly helped me understand the problems associated with using traditional (non-organic) sanitary pads and in creating a product designed for women. Innovative start-ups in the USA have been of great inspireation and help too. We have then chosen to use only one ingredient, organic cotton, as an alternative to normal cotton and synthetic fibers. A chemical-free, hypoallergenic and naturally absorbent material. The idea was to create a tampon that is comfortable to wear, without sacrificing women’s well-being or the efficiency of the product itself. Finally, we have adopted an online distribution model with a subscription system to make healthy and ecological menstrual products available to all.

Period knickers

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Thanks to the collaboration with Chitè Milano, you have launched on the market the first Italian kit which includes period knickers and organic tampons. An entirely sustainable kit. In which values ​​of Chitè do you feel you find yourself?

Chité and hello serena have a very similar DNA, synonymous with quality, sustainability and femininity. They celebrate women and self-love, defying all prejudices to support an important revolution of thought.

Which of Chitè period knickers do you wear on your period days?

Of course, I wear a pair of cotton Lover knickers by hello serena x Chitè. Comfortable, absorbent and reusable. Ideal for the most delicate days of the month, or simply to feel comfortable and be respectful of the environment.

Small curiosity: there is a lot of talk about the issue of VAT on sanitary pads. What do you think?

The battle against the tampon tax has been going on for some time, but fortunately in recent years, Europe has also made great strides towards its elimination or reduction. From zero in Ireland to free distribution in schools in Scotland, at reduced rates in several countries such as Great Britain (5%), France (5.5%) and Germany (7%). Unfortunately, the VAT on sanitary pads is still scandalously at 22% in Italy (among the highest in Europe), as if menstruating were a luxury. However, the attempts to change things have been and continue to be made. At least attemps are made in Guardistallo, a small town in the province of Pisa, where the Mayor has decided to save the national tax to anyone who goes to buy sanitary pads in the national pharmacy. Big changes come from small steps, so I’ll keep being hopeful!

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