Sectors: Period care, Femtech
Year Launched: 2019
Founders: Jayesh Vekariya (left) and Linda Biggs
Unique Selling Position: Simultaneously fighting for period equity and environmental sustainability.
Strategy: joni donates one biodegradable bamboo pad for every one sold.
Award sponsor: Royal Roads University
For the cofounders of joni, it’s important their business not only makes money, but contributes to its communities. The company grew from the discovery that one in three young Canadians — a statistic that doesn’t factor in Indigenous and LGBTQ2 — don’t have access to safe and affordable period care.
“We built the solution to period equity into our business model,” says Biggs. “Free shipping across Canada means remote communities (who currently pay four to five times the cost of urban areas) pay the same price as someone in Vancouver. For every online purchase, we donate the same product … In 2020, we donated more than 43,000 pads.”
Biggs notes that 2020 was a big awakening for many brands on the social impact side.
“Recognizing privilege and our role in the fight for equity, many brands took a step back to move forward,” she says. “While we’re still learning, we launched with inclusivity in mind. This is why we use ‘people who bleed’ and ‘period care’ versus antiquated terminology like ‘feminine hygiene.’”
The core of joni’s business is its customizable subscription-based service, which provides a consistent revenue and donation stream. In 2020, the company saw a 26 per cent subscription growth rate, with 60 per cent of its monthly purchases through subscriptions.
Their pads are Canada’s only biodegradable bamboo disposable option, breaking down approximately 94 per cent over 12 months — compared to the 300-plus years it takes traditional pads. Over the next year, joni hopes to launch biodegradable, organic cotton tampons, period-care underwear, and a patent-pending easy-release cup.
“Canada lacks period-product innovation,” says Vekariya. “Our goal is to provide the most innovative products in each category. In all our designs, we focus on two things: Is it good for your body? And is it good in the environment?”