July 10, 2018
Deep in the heart of Texas, there’s a field of organic cotton as far as the eye can see. And it’s destined to become tampons, pads, and liners made by Rael, an eco-friendly and non-toxic feminine care brand that fuses the safest materials with the latest technology. “Most big brand name pads are made with a plastic cover, and that’s what causes rash and skin troubles for some women with sensitive skin,” co-founder Yanghee Paik shared.
Before launching its product line, Rael’s R&D team searched for the best materials and settled on certified organic cotton. “Given that over 70 percent of cotton cultivated in the US use GMOs (genetically modified organisms), we were keen on using non-GMO organic cotton, free of the toxic chemicals that are potential carcinogens and endocrine disruptors. The cotton partner we found in Texas boasted safe, clean labor practices, and respects the integrity of each farmer who carefully picks each bale. They have the right certifications and share our vision.”
Rael’s origin story didn’t start in Texas—Yanghee was a movie distributor for Walt Disney Studios in Los Angeles when she met her co-founder, Aness An. “Aness told me all about the toxic chemicals used in conventional pads and tampons and shared her passion for creating healthier alternatives,” Yanghee said. “I never wondered what my period products were made of until then, even after using them for more than 20 years.”
Together, the duo was inspired to create a brand that would make a positive impact on women’s lives around the world. “Growing up in Korea, I knew how advanced Korean pads were compared to what’s offered in the U.S. In fact, the three co-founders—Aness, myself, and Binna Won—are all Korean immigrants living in Southern California. We were confident that combining the safest materials with Korea’s cutting-edge technology would help us create the best-performing organic pad for American consumers.”
“We were confident that combining the safest materials with Korea’s cutting-edge technology would help us create the best-performing organic pad for American consumers.”
As new entrepreneurs, dealing with uncertainty and unpredictability was a big challenge in the early days. “With my previous career in management consulting and movie distribution, I was used to sticking to work plans, which made it difficult to constantly adapt to new environments and new priorities at Rael. However, I love this dynamic lifestyle! I’ve learned to enjoy and embrace the surprises, and I’ve become a better problem-solver each day by learning from my mistakes.”
To make the best pads and tampons on the market, Rael keeps an ear tuned to its customers. “By not doing mass production, we can quickly incorporate customer feedback and tweak products,” Yanghee said. “For example, last year we received feedback that our pantyliner adhesive wasn’t strong enough, so we worked with our R&D team in Korea to find the most optimal amount of the glue to make it high performing, but still healthy. I love that we can always evolve and constantly improve.”
And Rael’s fans have spoken! The consistently positive reviews make Yanghee and her team even more motivated. “Oftentimes, I read them one by one and find some touching comments that make our job very special and rewarding. Customers have even sent thank-you emails saying their skin irritation and allergies disappeared after using our products. This kind of feedback keeps me inspired to do even more to help improve their lives,” Yanghee shared.
Making life-changing feminine products is the company’s mission, but it can’t be fulfilled without education. Yanghee wishes every woman knew about the toxic chemicals in conventional pads and tampons. “Women’s Voices conducted a study that found a number of harmful chemicals in conventional pads, which are known to irritate skin, disrupt pH balance, and increase odor. Tampons have the same issues, and are made with ingredients like viscose rayon and other synthetics, which can be harmful to women’s bodies.”
“I think it’s time for all of us to ask what these personal care products are made of. As women, we need to be empowered to make smart, informed decisions about which products to use.”
Many women claim to care about what they eat, but aren’t as knowledgeable about what touches their bodies, especially the most sensitive areas. “I think it’s time for all of us to ask what these personal care products are made of. As women, we need to be empowered to make smart, informed decisions about which products to use,” Yanghee said. “I want all women to know there’s an option to use healthy, safe products that don’t sacrifice performance, and Rael is here to meet that need.”
If you’re ready to go au naturale with your feminine care, Rael has a product for every woman. “Our pads and pantyliners are tried and true customer favorites, especially the regular and overnight pads,” Yahgee said. Here’s everything you need!
Soft and breathable, these liners are perfect for everyday wear, and help prevent odor and irritation.
Comfortable and ultra-absorbent, these pads are made with certified organic cotton and feature leak blocker technology to help prevent overflow with added layers of protection on the core and side panels.
It’s everything you can count on from the original, with an extra-long, 13-inch length plus double-wing adhesives to keep the pad in place overnight.
Download the app for easy shopping on the go
By providing your mobile number, you agree to receive marketing text messages from Thrive Market. Consent not a condition to purchase. Msg & data rates apply. Msg frequency varies. Reply HELP for help and STOP to cancel.