Callaly is a period care start-up that develops and manufactures female hygiene products. Its first major product is a leak-proof, organic type of tampon called the Tampliner that allows for hygienic insertion while getting rid of the need for hard plastic applicators. Its intentional design makes it more sustainable compared to traditional tampons despite not being completely biodegradable or waste-free. This along with the company’s commitment to its social and environmental goals results in the product’s overall high score.
In terms of packaging, its boxes are made up of FSC-approved paper or card with no laminate coating. This means the material used is sourced responsibly, will decompose in a relatively lower period compared to laminated versions and is fully recyclable. The wrappers used around each individual product are also biodegradable.
It uses 100% organic cotton in its tampliners. Organic can be deemed more environmentally friendly than conventional cotton. For example, it uses 91% less water, creates 46% less greenhouse gas emissions by not using nitrous dioxide-releasing fertilisers or pesticides. However, it still produces emissions when the raw cotton is spun and there are some issues with large scale production making it a more sustainable alternative but still not necessarily sustainable leading to its medium score.
Callaly’s products are sold online so they generate emissions from shipping. The company is keen to emphasise its efforts to produce mostly biodegradable packaging when saying how sustainable their product is but does not draw attention to its environmental impact from other aspects of its product. Greater transparency would allow it to have a higher score.
The Tampliner’s packaging has been purposefully designed to be mostly biodegradable and easy to dispose of for the end user. The tampon wraps back into its applicator as you remove it making a neat package to put in a bin. The wrappers are also recyclable and can also be disposed of with household recycling.
However, it is not entirely biodegradable. The product has 3 components that make up less than 5% of the product are not biodegradable which include elements that prevent the product from shedding and leaking during usage as well as a thin applicator made of a polymer that enables convenient disposal of the tampon. The product is not perfect in terms of leaving no waste; however, relative to some alternative products. Compared to reusable products, such as menstrual cups and period pants, as a disposable product, the tampliner by nature produces more waste. However, they are indeed more sustainable compared to other disposables that are made of plastic materials like rayon that take longer to break down than cotton and use harmful chemicals that negatively impact the environment resulting in its fairly high score.
Callaly is a certified B-Corporation meaning it has made a commitment to pursue environmental and social impact along with profit. For example, it has committed a minimum of 1% of its yearly sales to non-profits and its employees dedicate a portion of their time volunteering. It is committed to working towards the UN SDGs especially no.5: gender equality and no.12: responsible consumption and production. As a fairly new company founded in 2014, it has not received negative press. There were a couple reviews from people having problems with leakages or delivery; however, overall it had strong Trustpilot reviews (4.4/5 stars) which indicates Callaly’s commitment to its customer experience. I also got the chance to hear the CEO Thang Vo-Ta speak about the company where his sincere delivery of the company’s vision inspired me to write this review. So overall, I’d say it deserves its strong rating.