The most common period care products on the market—disposables—can contribute to up to 170 billion nanoplastics being absorbed into the uterus with each menstrual cycle. As a result, women are struggling with hormone imbalances, medical conditions and even miscarriages. To put a number on it, 1 in 5 women suffer from PCOS, fibroids or hormone imbalances.
Val Emanuel, earth activist and co-founder of Rif Care, decided to take control of her reproductive health, learn about better options for her body and find an alternative solution to the problematic period care options on the market. Rif Care, launched in June 2022, makes safe, non-hormone-disrupting period care products out of naturally antimicrobial/antifungal and super absorbent hemp fiber. Additionally, hemp aids in the fight against climate change by absorbing more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than any forest or commercial crop.
One of 10 entrepreneurs chosen to compete in Pitch Slam at Natural Products Expo West 2023, Emanuel had to present her company's story, sales data and business plan to a panel of five judges in just three minutes. Then the judges had four minutes to ask questions.
All the competitors sought the grand prize: a free booth at Expo West 2024, a free NEXTY nomination and numerous services from New Hope Network—in total, a package valued at $35,000. Although the judges did not choose Rif Care as one of the five finalists, Emanuel took home the Audience Choice Award, which includes entrance to Expo East 2023 and being interviewed on stage during Expo West 2024.
She is passionate about making “that time of the month” better for women while simultaneously making periods more impactful for the future generations and the entire planet. Watch her interview: