Forget Tampons, Eco Cycle Care is The Future

Welcome to the first instalment of the Ultra Violet Futures column where this month we will be focusing on cycle care. We are so excited to be working with FemTech.Live and delivering insightful forecasts, demystifying futures methodology and sharing the most innovative brands of the moment to you each month. 

This month we launched our very first trend report; The Future of Cycle Care: 2022 where we dissected the big trends we anticipate will dominate the market in 2022. Over the next four months, we will dig into each of the main themes for you in much greater detail, highlighting the brands leading the way and what it means for other businesses in the sector. 

Planet Positive

First up is Planet Positive; the eco-trend that is permeating through every sector at the moment but adopting some unique elements in the cycle care sector that will emerge next year. This driver is marked by key trends such as making eco-credentials clearer and more transparent, improving accessibility and thoughtful, purposeful design. Going forward, expect to see period and cycle care products following in the footsteps of fashion and beauty brands; pursuing planet-friendly tech solutions and encouraging and validating eco-conscious consumer behaviours through UI and smart, purposeful design solutions.

We expect to see personal footprint calculators gaining momentum within the cycle care market, with brands like Saalt and Dame already leading the way. The live trackers will provide information to the consumer about the impact of the collective period waste saved through using their products and allow consumers to calculate their personal impact on the planet. The fashion industry offers a glimpse into the future as luxury fashion retailer Farfetch, partnered with IOF.earth to offer consumers a detailed and customizable calculator to work out a range of environmental outcomes before buying an item, empowering the customer to make choices in line with their own values.

Our forecast also explores a new approach to sustainable design, as brands break down the innovation barriers and go back to the drawing board to create new, more purposeful designs to solve long-standing problems. From form to function, product development will have to deliver a truly unique and thoughtful design as demonstrated by Emanui, a portable menstrual cup cleaner. For decades period cup users have been tackling the inconvenience, and social stigma, of having to wash a cup in a public sink but with the Emanui, they can sterilise the cup anywhere they need – whether that be in the cubicle or on the side of a mountain. The cup is made of sustainable materials and provides a solution to a barrier that could be preventing people from making the switch to reusables. 

Expect to see other period and cycle care brands adopting a more purpose-led design approach, focusing on reusables, encouraging eco-conscious behaviours and working to provide new solutions to old problems. 

Finally, our forecast suggests that more cycle care brands will begin to take on big tech to find more eco-friendly software solutions and eliminate the heavy toll cloud storage takes on the environment. We anticipate that they will take the lead from brands like Lush and their handmade tech pledge to find new ways to adopt a Carbon Neutral Cloud. As consumers get savvier about greenwashing it will become increasingly important to not only promote ethical values but also to uncover more ways to reduce a brand’s overall impact on the environment. 

Our Forecasting Methodology

How do we figure out what’s coming next?? A common misconception of the forecasting industry is that as forecasters we rely solely on our intuition. Whilst intuition is vital in the process, everything we do at Ultra Violet Futures is grounded in data. We work with trusted data partners across sectors to assemble a clear picture of what is happening right now across the world.

It’s what we do with the raw data that defines us as futurists. By clustering the data and adding context we are able to see anomalies, which often indicate the beginnings of emerging trends or point towards tensions between what people want and what is currently available. We use this as a starting point, mapping the long-term impacts of today’s conversations and exploring multiple scenarios step by step.

Some of the most innovative cycle care brands that are leading the Planet Positive revolution are:

⁠Mooncup are one of the original brands bringing reusable period products to the mainstream with their renegade launch tactics back in 2002. Ever the innovators, Mooncup have had a live tracker on their site for years showing the number of tampons and pads saved from landfill by their users switching to menstrual cups. 

⁠No one had redesigned the menstrual cup for about 50 years until Flex came along. Unlike other menstrual cups, Flex is single-use but there are still plenty of times it’s necessary to have disposable period products so this is a great alternative when you can’t reuse and keep your cup and it produces 60% less waste than other disposables. 

⁠⁠Menstrual Cups have one major flaw – washing them in a public place. For many users, it’s a huge challenge to overcome as it can be both unhygienic, inconvenient and embarrassing to leave the cubicle to wash your cup in the sink before re-inserting it. Emanui is a new portable steriliser for your menstrual cup. It is water-free and folds away so it really can be used anywhere. This is one of our favourite examples of innovation in cycle care, solving a long-standing problem in an elegant and sustainable way. 

⁠⁠Finally, Dame made the first reusable tampon applicator that is body-safe and antimicrobial. One of the biggest waste issues with disposable tampons is the plastic applicator. It’s made with single-use plastic and cannot be recycled making applicator tampons one of the worst period waste offenders. Dame are leading the transparency revolution with annual impact reports detailing the environmental outcomes, business practice and ways they are staying accountable to their consumers. New users can also work out their personal lifetime period waste with the Dame unique period calculator, demonstrating how cycle care brands are catching up to brands like FarFetch that offer similar, if more comprehensive, calculators.


Ultra Violet Futures — Ultra Violet Agency

Ultra Violet Futures was founded by FemTech veteran Anna Butterworth and innovative Future Forecaster Rhiannon Jones. They use forecasting methodology to empower brands and investors to not only envisage but define the future of this category.

Ultra Violet delivers market landscape forecasts, future consumer mindsets, product trend analysis and future brand strategy to brands and businesses across a range of sectors. Positioned as a full-service agency the UltraViolet team also offers workshops and training in future forecasting and innovation methodology.

To find out more about how we can help your business and become pioneers in this sector please contact futures@ultraviolet.agency or visit ultraviolet.agency/ultraviolet-futures

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