The few healthy and sustainable options available on the market, the feeling of guilt every time she threw a plastic tampon applicator in the trash, and the near absence of dispensers in the toilets providing free menstrual products are all reasons which prompted Roxane Champagne-Duval to found the company Alea Protection in November 2022.

The idea: to offer products that are healthy for the body and the environment. The 32-year-old young entrepreneur was also inspired after Ottawa announced changes to the Canada Labor Code that require federally regulated companies to offer free tampons and pads to their employees since December 15.

Result: since the fall, Alea Protection’s eco-friendly products have been found in the vending machines of more than 450 corporate toilets across the country, such as Northvolt, Intelcom, Lambert bags, the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) as well as as several government offices. A pilot project was also set up at André-Grasset college.

Alea tampons and pads are made with 100% organic cotton. “I realized that menstrual products [on the market] were not very good for the body, full of synthetic fibers, plastic-derived materials and chemicals. I started looking for an option that was more natural,” says Roxane Champagne-Duval in an interview.

“There are no synthetic fibers like rayon, for example,” she adds. And the pads are certified biodegradable in 90 days. The tampons are made with a biodegradable cardboard applicator. A conventional plastic applicator can take up to 800 years to decompose,” she points out.

Another particularity: the product is in slick packaging, believes the young woman, who has already worked for L’Oréal Canada.

Its products for businesses, and also sold online, are offered in gray or white rectangular boxes. No garish colors here or plastic bags.

“People say to me, ‘Wow! I can’t wait for my week to put the box on my counter.” It’s still crazy to be told that. »

“The experience is more interesting because the product is beautiful and because it is good,” she maintains. We know that the product is good for the body, we know that it has less impact on the environment and the branding is beautiful. »

The woman who runs a business with barely three employees wants her products to be on the shelves of supermarkets. But for now, Champagne-Duval has decided to focus on corporate and online sales to build awareness of her products.

His other hobby horse? Accessibility. In an ideal world, all public places and schools would offer menstrual products for free. The entrepreneur recently found herself at a corporate event where, to get a sanitary napkin, she had to insert a $2 coin into the vending machine. “Who has change in their pockets in 2023? “, she asks herself.