Founder Spotlight: Meg Ferrigno MSEd14

5 min readDec 4, 2023

“Hardly anyone invests in females, and even fewer invest in Black and Latina founders, and yet, we are one of the largest blocks of CPG consumers in the USA. Knowing that it is an uphill battle, I have surrounded myself with fellow female founders to go together!”

Meet Meg Ferrigno, Founder of MoonPads, on a mission to address period poverty and promote menstrual health and hygiene. MoonPads is a social enterprise that sells organic, biodegradable sanitary napkins on a buy-one, give-one model, empowering women and girls in underserved communities around the world.

For the past 20 years, Meg Ferrigno has been working on educational and cultural sustainability projects in India, Nepal and Tibet. Her passion began with an undergrad research project in the Himalayas, and she hasn’t stopped since.

From volunteering in Asia to working in urban gardens and community schools in West Philly, Meg is deeply committed to environmental and social justice causes around the world. She holds a PhD in Sustainability Education from Prescott College, a Master’s degree in International Educational Development from Penn, and a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Education from Hampshire College.

Meg launched MoonPad after years of distributing menstrual care products to nuns and others in Tibet where they didn’t have adequate waste management to handle used menstrual products. After researching innovative ways to solve this problem, Meg and her team found a biodegradable pad partner and began to sell Moonpads to the US market in February 2022. The company operates on a buy-one-give-one model to help women in need and reduce environmental effects from plastic associated with typical menstrual products.

Tell us a bit about your company

MoonPads sells organic, compostable pads on a buy one give one basis to help eradicate period poverty.

What is your funding stage?

Plan to bootstrap/self-fund with no VC

What inspired you to start your business — what opportunity in the market are you seeking to address?

MoonPads addresses 3 main problems that are associated with menstruation.

The waste problem: most conventional period products contain petroleum-based plastics and constitute an enormous amount of non-biodegradable waste. MoonPads are completely plastic-free, biodegradable, and compostable while performing as effectively and comfortably as any period product on the market.

The toxicity problem: Conventional menstrual products contain chemicals harmful to human health like dioxins, plastics, and pesticide residues. MoonPads products are completely chemical free and non-toxic, mitigating the health risks caused by conventional period products. The risks include cancer, endocrine disruption, and reproductive toxicity.

Period Poverty: Menstruators experience period poverty when they cannot afford or access period supplies. The issue occurs in every city or village across the globe but is silent and unaddressed due to stigma around menstruation. It prevents millions of menstruators from reaching their potential due to missed work, school, and participation in their communities because they don’t have a way to manage their periods. MoonPads operates on a buy 1 — give 1 model: for every box sold, a box is donated to someone in need.

What is it about your personal background, experience, or perspective that fuels your passion for this venture?

With 20 years experience managing multi million dollar nonprofit budgets and organizing humanitarian work in Tibet, founding MoonPads is the way I’ve chosen to apply the best of what I’ve learned. I received my Ph.D. in Sustainability Education from Prescott College and my M.S.Ed from the University of Pennsylvania. I’m a leader by nature and thrive under pressure. MoonPads marries my love of people and planet. I know that my products work and are safe from my own experience. I know period poverty first hand, I know these issues. The fact that non-menstruators design and sell these items makes me work harder to make sure that I take good care of my sisters, because we deserve better!

Menstrual products are given to those in need during a recent distribution event in Tibet. (Source: La Jolla Light)

What are one or two of the biggest wins or most encouraging experiences you’ve had so far?

MoonPads is fortunate to have a desirable product and a strong and sustainable business model. MoonPads is poised to achieve meaningful growth! Firms that I have consulted with are enthusiastic about the results they can achieve. We graduated from an accelerator program and are feeling ready to win!

What has been one or two of your biggest learnings so far?

Particularly because I am in the femtech space, I realized that so many other menstruators hate it when I bring up menstruation! It inspires me even more to smash the stigma — not only around being a Latina, not being female, but being a bleeding Latina Femme Founder.

What is an obstacle that you are grappling with as you continue to build this venture?

As a female Latina founder I am often tokenized, people want me to speak and to be in photos, but not one investor has actually signed a check after 1.5 years of trying to raise. Hardly anyone invests in females, and even fewer invest in Black and Latina founders, and yet, we are one of the largest blocks of CPG consumers in the USA. Knowing that it is an uphill battle, I have surrounded myself with fellow female founders to go together! I use Moonpads to collaborate and raise others up, because we need to help each other in this really challenging space. I honestly have never felt so discriminated against in my life until I became a founder.

What surprises have you encountered as an entrepreneur? Something out of left field?

Extreme sexism. When a potential investor told me I should put an ad in Playboy for moonpads and have the model have a tampon string exposed — but not to show anything gross like blood… This is just one of the surprising conversations I have had!

How can the WAFFA community help you?

I would love help gaining a contract with UPENN to provide MoonPads in all female and gender neutral bathrooms across campus. Providing free moonpads to all menstruators on campus should be as basic as supplying toilet paper in all bathrooms.

What has been the most rewarding thing about starting your own business?

Educating menstruators on being more mindful about their products, their cycles and their power!

Learn more about MoonPads here, and connect with Meg here.




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