IN CONVERSATION WITH FIONA PARFREY CO-FOUNDER AND CEO OF RILEY.
How did Riley come about?
Riley came about from our own personal frustrations. Myself and two friends, Lauren and Aine, were shocked to learn that mainstream period products can contain harmful chemicals, and we were also sick of running out when we needed them! We knew there had to be a better way and when we couldn’t find what we were looking for on the market we felt compelled to do something about it. So we got to work, my friends and I became co-founders, and Riley, (meaning to live the “life of Riley”, a carefree existence) was born. Our range of eco- friendly period products from organic sanitary pads and cotton tampons are all biodegradable and sustainable.
Tell us more about your fight against period poverty.
Unfortunately period poverty is a huge issue across the world and we wanted to be a part of the fight. We’ve partnered with Positive Period Ireland, an incredible grassroots-led initiative here in Ireland, and we supply them with period care for those that need them most. We’ve also partnered with an Irish registered charity, Development Pamoja, based in Kenya who I’ve had the pleasure of volunteering with a few years ago. When in rural Kenya I witnessed first-hand the devastating effects that period poverty has on young girls over there. Up to 65% miss school every month because they don’t have access to period products. So we supply period care but we also sponsor doctor-led school visits to educate young students about menstruation in a bid to remove taboo surrounding the subject. It’s been incredibly rewarding for us, as a small startup, to see the genuine impact we’ve had on people’s lives with our donations.
Read the full interview in our latest issue, The Spring Edit, on shelves now.