Founded with the goal of making period care easier, more accessible, and better for the environment, Saalt is changing the way sustainability and menstrual care mesh. Check out our interview with Saalt Co-Founder & CEO, Cherie Hoeger.
What inspired you to start Saalt?
Saalt started with a phone call to my aunt in Venezuela. She explained to me that due to the country’s political instability, there were huge shortages of basic consumer staples like pads and tampons. (Now that we’ve gone through this pandemic, we’ve all experienced just how fast store shelves can clear!) My family there had to go months without period care. I immediately thought of my 5 daughters and what I would do in that situation. Our unsustainable dependency on disposables kept me up at night, so I started looking into reusable options. That’s when I was introduced to the menstrual cup. I was immediately sold on the benefits—comfortable, healthier, could be worn for 12 hours (wow!), and could last up to 10 years when manufactured with premium, medical-grade silicone. I purchased a few to test but could never find one that I was confident enough to recommend to friends and family. That’s when I roped my husband into helping me design a menstrual cup that met all my ideal criteria. We saw an opportunity to take a highly stigmatized product in the already stigmatized category of period care, and showcase it in a beautiful and sustainable package for the simple, planet-saving, and more comfortable product that it is.
Not only that, but reusable period care is the only true answer to solving global period poverty. There are 800 million people with periods around the world, and 500 million of those (over 62%) live in period poverty, which means they lack access to safe and reliable period care, which causes menstruators to drop out of school or miss work. As a certified B Corp, we have a 2% give-back mission to donate period care to areas with the most need, fund educational scholarships for menstruating students, and fund sustainability initiatives. Since our launch in 2018, we’ve donated over 38,000 of our products in 35 countries.
Going from conventional period care to sustainable period care involves a big learning curve. What would you recommend for anyone who is interested in making the sustainable switch but needs an extra push?
All it takes is one moment of bravery! The shower is a perfect risk-free zone to give it a try. Simply keep your new cup at the door of your shower, and use the water as a natural lubricant to try inserting and removing it.
Another tip is to talk to someone you know who is already a cup user. Studies show that it takes several moments of pre-contemplation before people decide to try something new. If you don’t know of any cup users in your circle, you can join our Saalt Cup Academy on Facebook, a savvy group of over 25,000 cup converts who are ready to answer any TMI question you have and cheerlead you along the way!
You have 5 daughters! How are you talking to them (or planning to talk to them) about sustainable period care?
We actually developed our Saalt Teen Cup with the help of my oldest daughter who had just gotten her period at the time. When she first got her period, she was nervous to try the cup, which is the most common response from anyone looking to make the switch for the first time. So she started with tampons and pads, and as soon as we had new teen cup prototypes, she gave it a try. She told me, “Mom, I don’t know why anyone would use tampons. Cups are SO much better.” Hearing her say that is hands-down the proudest moment of my career. I want every young menstruator to feel confident and comfortable from their very first period.
Is there anything you’re most excited about for Saalt in the coming years?
Of course! As innovators in the reusable period space, our product development team is always finding new ways to support a fully sustainable leakproof lifestyle and has several new products in the works. Stay tuned!
What is your favorite product at Saalt?
My favorite Saalt products are our Saalt Soft Menstrual Cup in size regular for my heavy days, and our new Saalt Menstrual Disc in size small for my light days. In case there is any spotting while using my cup or disc (or just for everyday wetness while not on my period), I use our new Saalt Comfort bikini or thong. As a former tampon user that always had to back them up with a disposable liner, it’s amazing to now have sustainable products that I feel so comfortable in and feel good about using for the health of my body and planet! I want everyone to have a better period experience!
An amazing eco-friendly period product brand, Saalt is truly making a statement. Be on the lookout for some new product drops to come. Learn more about Saalt by reading their Brand Page! Shop Saalt and other period products here.