With a growing, global consciousness about the environment, the need for sustainable feminine products is obvious. Enter Juanita Kotze who, with partners Aldré Geldenhuys of V&G Personal Products and designer Eugenie Marais, has developed the country’s first locally manufactured, environmentally-friendly feminine hygiene product range.
Through collaborative effort, ANNA Pure Organic, was born and hit shelves in December 2019. “We believe that women who are conscious of their ecological footprint shouldn’t have to compromise comfort in the process of lowering their environmental impact,” says Juanita. “Every woman is in the business of feminine products. Our monthly ceremony is a given and the waste generated by plastic-laden products simply unforgivable. An organic alternative at an affordable price was urgently required,” she says.
Model, fashion show director and activist – and now entrepreneur – Juanita Kotze describes herself as “a tall girl from a small town with big dreams.”
Born in Potchefstroom Juanita began her career in the fashion industry as a model at the age of 15. At 23, she stepped off the runway, grew wings and established herself as an international fashion show director in New York, Paris, Delhi and Berlin. On her return from her European sojourn in 2012, Juanita branched out from the fashion industry into the entertainment realm as a creative director on live and recorded performances, theatre and musical productions. In 2018 she founded The Rare Library – a creative content agency. ANNA Pure Organic is one of the brands developed in the library.
ANNA products are manufactured in Cape Town and made from 100% raw, organic cotton sourced from farms in Pakistan for softness and breathability, the absorbent core contains no super-absorbent polymers and is made from 100% natural plant fibres sourced from renewable, responsibly-managed, man-made forests FSC certified. The back sheet of the pads and pantyliners is made from 100% certified biodegradable, eco-friendly plant-based bio-poly made of cornstarch making them secure and waterproof. The top sheet contains no dyes, fragrances or parabens.
Plastic has been avoided at all costs. Pads and pantyliners are wrapped in individual sleeves also made from bio-poly cornstarch which is eco-friendly and their paper packaging is sourced from responsibly-managed, man-made FSC certified forests.
With prices from R24.99 for a pack of 10 maxi pads, the products are affordable. Juanita says: “We set out to create a natural organic product at an affordable price because that is how you can make a difference. Like all things honest, you distil to the core, and lose the bullshit.”
The range currently consists of two organic products, ANNA maxi pads and ANNA pantyliners which are available countrywide at Checkers, Dischem pharmacies, Pick n Pay, Spar and online at Faithful to Nature.
ANNA is developing an organic, plastic-free tampon range. “There are potential developments on a tampon range the moment these two products give us the wings to expand,” says Juanita.
“These products are so good. They are comfortable – I can barely feel them while wearing them. I’m early in my period so the flow is still heavy and it is very absorbent. I will definitely use it from now on. Would definitely be recommended.” – Sam Battle, Port Elizabeth.
“I absolutely love the product and would definitely recommend it. It’s so feather light as if you’re wearing nothing. Well done Anna.” – Lizell van den Heever, Cape Town.
“ANNA pads and pantyliners are just as great as any other feminine hygiene brands. Perhaps even better fit-wise. The wings stay in one place so you hardly notice them which is really important for me.” – Robyn Kriel, Port Elizabeth.