In partnership with Ayrshire College, the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) collaborated with Edinburgh-based start-up Floco to design the thinnest reusable sanitary pad on the market that stays in place during use.
Floco was founded in 2018 by Mhairi Cochrane and Alison Wood after they identified a way to combat the high emissions resulting from disposable sanitary pads. It is estimated that the product can reduce carbon emissions created by up to 90% compared to disposable pads, amounting to a saving of 316kg of CO2 and 64kg of plastic over a year.
The company developed an initial design concept but required support to scale up production while effectively keeping manufacturing costs and emissions low. It was also looking to ensure the product design successfully met all the needs of its target market.
Tapping into its product development and market acceptance expertise, the NMIS Design Engineering team hosted a series of workshops for Floco and Ayshire College as the two organisations were collaborating on textile design and product manufacture.
The team at NMIS also provided insight and template tools to help define the requirements of the product before reviewing the resultant prototype and supporting Floco in further testing and gaining user feedback.
Mhairi Cochrane, co-founder, Floco, said:
Working with the NMIS team has been fantastic, Hannah, Graeme and Dan constantly went above and beyond to help out. They were always on hand to answer questions ensure the research was accessible to our team and support us with looking ahead to the future.
"They supported with product development and the research of applicable regulations and provided high quality results. We would definitely work with them again.
Floco, after successfully conducting user trials with members of Scottish Ballet, has successfully refined its product and is beginning to secure buyers
NMIS is also providing further support for Floco on meeting regulations for selling the pads in global markets, including the USA.