09/08/2017 07:36 SAST | Updated 09/08/2017 07:36 SAST

Meet Zizipho Ntobongwana: Revolutionising Feminine Hygiene As We Know It

"We believe that menstruators deserve to know what it is they are putting in their bodies."


Twenty-three-year old Zizipho Ntobongwana says she was on her period in 2016 when she started questioning what goes into the products she uses on the most absorbent and sensitive part of her body, her vagina.

The University of Cape Town graduate then noticed that there were no ingredients labelled on a box of a sanitary product she was using, something she considered concerning.

A Facebook survey she later conducted echoed her thoughts, indicating that 99 percent of menstruators do not know what goes into their sanitary products.

"I found, after doing some research that generic sanitary products were not only non-organic cotton but that other toxic ingredients such as rayon and dioxin were a part of the ingredients," she told HuffPost SA.

So, these toxins could also be absorbed through your vagina and into your body.

"This also means that these products add to the waste that is on the planet that isn't getting decomposed."

Ntobongwana then identified a gap, which later gave birth to Sheba Feminine.

The company provides a range of 100 percent organic sanitary-ware range including pads, tampons and pantyliners. Product packaging is biodegradable.

"By making a biodegradable product that uses recycled cardboard, I am cutting down the waste that we as menstruators produce," she explained.

Ntobongwana's vision for the brand is not only to mainstream the products but equally to educate people to be conscious about the environment and most importantly what goes into their bodies.

"I think that it's important for South Africa to be able to use and have an alternative option and use a healthier product," the entrepreneur concluded.