Avni: Empowering women with sustainable menstrual care – India’s first tested cloth pad

The start-up provides safe, effective, comfortable and eco-friendly menstrual care products. And while doing so, it also empowers local women and communities.


In April 2021, Avni burst onto the scene as a trailblazing start-up with a mission to revolutionise women’s health and menstrual care. Co-founded by Sujata Pawar and her husband Apurv Agrawal, Avni’s journey began with a profound personal experience that ignited a passion for providing safer and more sustainable alternatives to commercial menstrual pads.

Sujata Pawar, the Co-founder and CEO of Avni, shares, “My inspiration came from my own 18-year-long struggle with discomfort caused by commercially available menstrual pads. I knew there had to be better alternatives, and when I couldn’t find any existing brands that catered to the specific needs of women like me, I decided to take matters into my own hands.”

Vision for holistic women’s wellness

The vision behind Thane based Avni was deeply rooted in women’s health and wellness. Sujata’s determination to create menstrual care products that were safe, effective, and eco-friendly led to the birth of Avni, whose name itself means ‘The Earth.’

“We wanted to reflect our commitment to using natural, locally sourced ingredients and sustainable practices to support women’s overall well-being,” Sujata explains. With a strong belief that every woman deserves access to toxin-free and high-quality hygiene products, Avni’s focus on holistic women’s wellness and menstrual care products became its guiding principle.

Sujata’s uncomfortable experience with commercially available sanitary pads was not isolated. Discussing the issue with close friends revealed that they too faced similar problems. “It was surprising that no existing brands addressed these specific concerns in the market,” Sujata shares.

Fuelled by the need for safer and more comfortable menstrual care products, Sujata embarked on a mission to develop well-researched solutions that prioritise women’s health, comfort, and hygiene. This journey led to the establishment of Avni in April 2021.

Embracing the wisdom of grandmothers and Ayurveda, Avni sought to offer customers sustainable and safe products.

“Our vision is rooted in empowering women with holistic menstrual care solutions that combine ancient wisdom with modern innovation,” Sujata explains.

By incorporating natural, locally sourced ingredients and eco-friendly materials, Avni aimed to redefine the way women approached menstruation, promoting overall well-being and an open conversation about menstrual health.

Distinctive approach to menstrual care

Avni’s approach to menstrual care sets it apart from other brands in the market. It is committed to providing personalised and holistic solutions that cater to different women’s needs based on their flow, body type, and comfort. “We offer toxin-free and functional menstrual care options, including anti-microbial reusable cloth pads, natural cotton sanitary pads, menstrual cups, and more,” Sujata says. Unlike many commercial brands, Avni’s products are designed to be eco-friendly, safe for sensitive areas, and effective in reducing the risk of bacterial infections.


Creating India’s first tested cloth pad

Avni’s dedication to research and innovation resulted in India’s first tested cloth pad that not only absorbs but also protects from infections. “We conducted extensive research on natural and safe materials, collaborated with medical experts, and performed multiple trials to test the anti-microbial properties of the cloth pad,” Sujata reveals. This innovative product was born out of the desire to provide women with a reliable, eco-friendly, and comfortable alternative to traditional pads, prioritising their health and overall well-being.

Diverse and unique product lineup

Avni takes pride in its diverse and unique product lineup that caters to women’s varied needs and preferences. With over 100 variants to choose from, Avni’s product range includes anti-microbial reusable cloth pads, reusable organic cotton-based cloth panty liners, natural cotton sanitary pads, period wear wash, menstrual cups and wash, and intimate care wipes.

As a digital-first D2C brand, Avni has a strong online presence on major e-commerce platforms, complemented by 26 retail outlets in southern India.

As a wellness company, the safety and efficacy of Avni’s innovative products are of utmost importance. To ensure the highest standards, Avni conducts rigorous research and testing processes.

“We collaborate with medical experts to evaluate the materials used in our products, ensuring they are safe and suitable for sensitive areas,” Sujata points out. Extensive user trials are also performed to gather valuable feedback and make necessary improvements.


Empowering women and communities

Avni’s impact goes beyond the realm of menstrual care. The start-up is deeply committed to generating livelihoods for underprivileged women, promoting education, and conducting menstrual healthcare sessions. “Each cloth pad is crafted with love and care by our tribe of incredible women from rural India,” Sujata proudly shares. Avni allocates 8% of its profits towards supporting women and girls through education and providing them with high-quality products. With every pad purchased, Avni takes a step closer to empowering women.

24X7 period helpline

Avni’s 24X7 period helpline is a testament to its commitment to empowering women and fostering a sustainable period routine. With a team of dedicated experts, Avni offers round-the-clock support, addressing queries related to products, menstrual health, and hygiene. “By providing personalised guidance, we help women make informed choices and seamlessly transition to sustainable menstrual care,” Sujata asserts. The helpline creates a safe space for open conversations, ensuring that women feel supported throughout their menstrual journey and can confidently embrace eco-friendly alternatives.

Promoting ‘Make in India’

Avni takes great pride in promoting the ‘Make in India’ initiative by manufacturing its innovative and unique products locally. “We believe in the power of homegrown talent and resources,” Sujata emphasises. By sourcing materials locally and collaborating with skilled artisans and women from rural communities, Avni contributes to the growth of the local manufacturing sector while fostering economic stability and self-reliance. Through its ‘Make in India’ approach, Avni not only provides high-quality and sustainable menstrual care products but also supports women and local communities.


Milestones and ambitions

Avni’s journey has been marked by significant achievements, reaching out to over 65,000 women and shipping products to more than 5,000 pin codes across India. Looking ahead, Avni has ambitious goals and expansion plans.

“We aim to touch 5 million women through our products, ambassador network, and micro-entrepreneurship initiatives,” Sujata says. Avni’s vision extends to eliminating the stigma surrounding menstruation, addressing period poverty, and empowering women through education and high-quality products. The start-up envisions becoming a trustworthy women’s health brand, accessible to women across the nation and beyond, supporting their journey from menarche to menopause.

Avni’s remarkable journey is a testament to the power of passion, innovation, and social impact. With a focus on holistic women’s wellness and sustainable menstrual care, Avni continues to redefine the menstrual care landscape, empowering women to embrace their natural cycles confidently. As they forge ahead, Avni remains steadfast in its mission to create a positive impact on women’s lives and contribute to a more sustainable and empowering world for all menstruators.

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