Published: 04th August 2021
Plush period: This Chennai start-up’s hygiene products for women are all about sustainability and sensibility
Ketan Munoth and Prince Kapoor are two Loyola College graduates who decided to launch a feminine hygiene brand called Plush. We find out how they’re different
Something that always bothered Ketan Munoth and Prince Kapoor was the never-changing menstrual hygiene aisle at the supermarket. “Everything around it would change. There would be new products, more colourful packaging in the other aisles but the sanitary napkins aisle would always look the same,” says Ketan. This was among the various topics of discussion when the Loyola College classmates met after a while in Delhi, where Ketan was working at the time. The duo wanted to do something to change the sector but didn’t know how at that point. This was in 2017. Almost four years later, they are two years into Plush, a Chennai-based start-up that focuses on sustainable feminine hygiene products — from cotton pads, menstrual cups and even razors.
So, how did two men go about developing a feminine hygiene brand? Research, says Ketan, went a long way in developing the products. “We spoke to hundreds of women to understand their needs when it comes to menstrual hygiene. Most of the women wanted sanitary pads that are comfortable and don’t cause rashes,” says Ketan. This led the BBA graduates to spend time and resources on finding a solution. “We found that most of these products in the market had a large plastic content and that was what caused rashes and discomfort. We decided to find an alternative for which we experimented with various materials before zeroing in on cotton,” recalls Ketan.
Prince Kapoor and Ketan Munoth
Ketan says that he is immensely grateful for the women in his and Prince’s lives, without whom they couldn’t have launched the brand. “We are two men who decided to work with products that are exclusively for women and for that we needed help from every woman we know. They were our first testers and helped us develop the product to what it is today,” says Ketan, “We learnt so much patience as we had to wait for a long time for results after sending out samples. No matter what we do in the lab, it is the user’s feedback that matters most,” he adds. He accepts that it was challenging but that never bothered him and Prince much. Today, the team at Plush has over 80 per cent women.
Plush’s products are primarily available online on Amazon, Flipkart, Nykaa and their own website. It can also be found across 300 retail stores in Chennai and Bengaluru. Plush’s sanitary pads are made with 100% US cotton. “US cotton has a high tensile strength. We had to ensure that the pads did their job even while being sustainable, comfortable and rash-free. While we have substituted all the plastic components that are present in other sanitary napkins available in the market, only the bottom layer has been retained in plastic,” says Ketan. He says that replacing the plastic makes the pad more sustainable.
As Plush continues to grow — they had over 25,000 new customers in the last financial year — it is also seeking to expand its product line. “We are also the first Indian brand that advertises our products rooted in reality. We don’t use blue for the blood in our advertisements for sanitary napkins and our advertisements on razors are shown removing actual hair,” says Ketan, adding, “But we are conscious to be body hair positive. We are careful to integrate the message that removing body hair is a choice and if they choose to do it, Plush’s products are a sustainable option,” says Ketan.