Why Can’t I Talk Openly About Periods?

Last updated 10 Jan 2018 . 6 min read

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“Having used sanitary pads all my life, I never remember one time when I felt confident enough talking to my father or brother about something as normal as this. And that, when I find my family to be among the open-minded ones with a progressive and modern mindset. They never differentiated between my brother and me, and always taught me to stand up for myself. Even then, something that always felt strange is that they could not raise me bold enough to talk ‘normally’ about periods.

We should all ask ourselves this question. Why do we feel the need to hush our voices when asking a friend for a spare sanitary pad? Why do we still discreetly take a change of sanitary pad to the washroom? Or, why even the confident, independent women of today feel that they can’t talk about menstruation on an open platform?

I strongly feel we need a change in attitude when it comes to menstruation. I feel the way we deal with menstruation needs to be transformed. We need to start looking at it normally, and more importantly as something ‘important’. This is what inspired me to create Carmesi - a brand that inspires women to value menstruation.

Creating Carmesi was not an easy but definitely an extremely interesting experience. It has been one of the most challenging things I have ever done in my life. When I decided to go in for it, I was a fresher with only 9 months of experience. This, I knew, would be a hurdle for me. And it was.

Investment is one of the biggest reasons for the success of any startup. And making any investor believe in the idea of a woman who was only 25 with almost no work experience was challenging.

Having said that, I would also like to comment that it was not impossible. I did raise funds from some really smart people, who had the same vision of Carmesi as I had. Moreover, I have realized that one very important aspect where a young entrepreneur like me lacks is pre-empting possibilities and knowing where things can go wrong. This comes with experience and failures. So, my mantra with running Carmesi has been:

Fail but fail fast. So you can do better the next time.

I wouldn’t flinch a bit while saying that today, it is extremely crucial for the world to have brands like Carmesi. For ages now, women have been exposing their bodies to the abundant synthetics and chemicals used in conventional sanitary pads, which have been doing far more harm to their bodies than any good. At Carmesi, it is paramount to us that we offer women a safe and healthy alternative to manage their periods. That’s why, our pads are completely natural, made from bamboo fiber and cornstarch, without the use of any harmful synthetics and chemicals. They are also 100% biodegradable, in our bid to be more responsible towards the environment.



While creating Carmesi, the biggest priority for me was to create a brand that can make periods ‘normal’. This is representative right from the name of our brand, which means ‘Crimson’ - the color of blood. 

If we look at the personal hygiene industry today, there is so much to explore, right from the most utility-focused brands to the ones that make it a point to deliver the best experience to their customers. Yes, I am talking about the numerous options available for a face wash, the fanciest of lingerie, the best of perfumes to the best-quality creams and shower gels. But there has never been an effort by the menstrual hygiene industry to make a woman feel good about herself by delivering her an exclusive experience. And that’s because menstrual hygiene has always been perceived as something that just needs to be done away with. It’s important to realize here that we can’t be just done with it.

We, women, are destined to menstruate for about 7 years of our lives. And if we can’t really make it go away, why not accept it and make it better for ourselves?

With this thought in mind, I wanted to deliver the best experience possible to a woman to manage her periods, right from how she receives her sanitary pads to how she stores, uses them as well as dispose of them. That’s why our pads are delivered in a beautiful box (unlike the black polythene bags of shame) that instill a sense of pride and boldness towards menstruation.

Women can receive a customized mix of sizes, and tailor it to their flow, to avoid last-minute trips to the local pharmacy. Moreover, they receive handy and super-convenient disposal bags to provide for a hassle-free disposal. Through all these offerings, we are able to deliver a comprehensive, exclusive and empowering experience to each of our customers.


Carmesi Disposal Bags


Men And Periods

With Carmesi, I don’t intend to just sell a product to women. I intend to make Carmesi an integral aspect of a woman’s menstrual cycle, one that she can trust and completely rely on for all her period needs. Carmesi is introducing a completely new segment in this industry, which is gifting.

Men are buying our product as a gift for their girlfriends, wives, and sisters. This is a completely unheard of, a sanitary pad being gifted. But with our product, we have been able to explore something completely unique. This does not only help to break the taboo related to periods but also reinforces menstrual hygiene as a part of a woman’s lifestyle needs. It also makes men realize the importance of menstruation, which I think is absolutely essential for what we are trying to achieve. 

Each day we strive for a future where the conversations on menstruation are not constrained to the hushed corners, where women enjoy safe and healthy products and are educated and empowered to make the right decisions for their bodies."


*Tanvi Johri is the Co-founder and CEO of Carmesi, India’s first brand of premium, all-natural sanitary pads. At the young age of 25, she decided to take a leap and build on her dreams. Tanvi launched her brand ‘Elize’ in the beginning of 2017, with an aim to make menstrual-care a more convenient and comfortable experience for women. But over the year, she came to the realization that only comfort and convenience were not enough - she wanted women to have a safer and healthier period. So, eleven months later, on 24th November 2017, she transformed her brand to Carmesi.



Lola Jutta
An unapologetic writer, budding travel enthusiast and a default optimist! Life is what you make out of it.

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