Aisle Co-founders Suzanne Siemens and Madeleine Shaw. Image: Aisle

Period product company Aisle has been selected as the 2021 recipient of the $100,000 Social EnterPrize, a biennial award that was created by the Trico Charitable Foundation in 2011 to celebrate excellence in social entrepreneurship in Canada. Redefining the period aisle for the 21st century is the mission of this innovative social venture. Co-Founders Madeleine Shaw and Suzanne Siemens are creating period products for every body while at the same time delivering comfort, respect and sustainability.

Aisle (formerly known as Lunapads) has been around since 1993, when co-founders Madeleine Shaw and Suzanne Siemens set out to create a world-class collection of washable pads, period underwear, and menstrual cups in 1993. In 2000 they began a practice of donating products and funds to fight period poverty. Aisle became a certified B Corporation in 2012 and in 2020 became the first period care company to complete a comprehensive Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) of their products. Thanks to their efforts, over 30,000 individuals have been supported with product donations and over 250 million disposable pads and tampons have been diverted from landfills and waterways.

“The team at Aisle is thrilled to be recognized for our social entrepreneurship efforts, as it allows us to further spotlight how access to sustainable and affordable period care products positively impacts gender equity and the environment,” says Aisle Co-founder Suzanne Siemens. “As leaders who have worked for decades to innovate and raise awareness about the connection between menstrual health and equity, to have our commitment recognized in this way is immensely heartening.”

Image: Aisle

With applicants from across Canada, the competition for the Social EnterPrize saw a diversity of social enterprises – all of which are using business models to solve social problems. Recipients demonstrate best practices, impact and innovation in social enterprise. “Aisle is constantly pushing the envelope to extend its impact in marginalized communities,” says Dan Overall, Executive Director, Trico Charitable Foundation.

The Social EnterPrize Award will be presented at the Pivot on Purpose Summit on November 19, 2021. Hosted by the Trico Foundation Social Entrepreneurship Centre at the Haskayne School of Business.

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