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Reusable tampon applicator developed by research teams at ITL Group

By Chris Price

The tampon market is full of companies claiming to offer a discreet and comfortable product but few which say they will be kind to the planet too.

Research teams in the county have developed a reusable applicator which they believe will also appeal to a woman's environmental conscience.

The organic tampons, which are free from rayon, bleach and pesticides, was conceived by DAME, a start-up founded by Alec Mills and Celia Pool.

The reusable tampon applicator was developed by DAME and Ashford-based ITL Group
The reusable tampon applicator was developed by DAME and Ashford-based ITL Group

The pair took their idea for a reuseable product to Ashford-based design and manufacturing business ITL Group, which developed it.

Mr Mills said: “DAME came to ITL with a very clear vision and a very basic prototype.

"Whilst we knew what we wanted, it was clear that we were going to need them to bring our idea to life.

"With their support, we have been able to bring our new applicator to market, which for the first time in decades, gives women real choice."

Mr Mills claims the reusable applicator is the first tampon innovation since 1933.

ITL Group is an engineering and manufacturing business in Ashford
ITL Group is an engineering and manufacturing business in Ashford

Women use about 12,000 tampons during their life, with more than seven billion thrown away every year around the world.

The D has already piqued the interest of more than 1,400 investors who have pledged more than £36,000 to help it reach the next stage of manufacturing.

Mr Mills added: “We create as much waste from menstrual products as we do plastic cutlery and cups, which tends to get all the attention.

"In our view, why throw away seven billion pieces of plastic when you can keep one. Our applicator, designed with the help of ITL, delivers that solution.”

ITL Group chief executive Tom Cole
ITL Group chief executive Tom Cole

Tom Cole, chief executive of ITL Group, said the product showed the need for more women to enter the engineering sector.

He said: “If there is one thing that we would have loved to have had during this project is the involvement of more female engineers working on this project.

"There is a real shortage out there and we’re doing all we can to address it.

“I hope projects like this will help inspire more women to look at engineering as a rewarding career – ideally with us.”

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