An Indian company has opened its U.S. headquarters in Irving to launch a line of sustainable, plant-based period products in the U.S. market.
Called Sparkle, the company says its period products are “good for the body and the planet.” But that’s not the company’s only mission: It’s also designing waste management infrastructure for its products in the U.S., to reduce the amount of waste going to landfills.
Founded in 2018 by husband-and-wife team Chirag and Hetal Virani, Sparkle operates a 50,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in India with a fully automatic Italian production line that can produce over 1 million plant-based pads per day. The plant is U.S. FDA-registered, the company said.
Chirag Virani, who leads Sparkle as CEO, told Dallas Innovates that North Texas was chosen for his company’s U.S. headquarters because he and his wife “have family in Irving.”
Now that their company is entering the U.S. market, Virani and his wife won’t be far behind.
“We are currently based in India, but starting from Q4 2023, we will be spending half of our time in the U.S. and half of our time growing the market in the E.U. and South East Asia,” Virani told us.
As to their U.S. expansion, Virani said in a statement that “we feel there is a strong market here and people looking for alternatives to plastic usage.”
Sparkle is India’s largest manufacturer of sustainable and plant-based sanitary products, and this launch marks its first foray into the American market.
Sparkle said its products contain no harsh chemicals or artificial fragrances that may cause skin irritations or rashes. Its pads are dermatologist tested and USDA-certified biobased products.
The company said its tampons are made with 100% certified organic cotton.
Now the company is tackling the task of selling and marketing its brand in the U.S. Chirag Virani said his company has 50 global employees, and is “still at a very early stage” in its U.S. expansion, operating out of an office in Irving. He will be leading the U.S. operation himself.
Launching two waste management programs in U.S.
Sparkle says that roughly 300 billion period products are used and discarded every year around the world. That leads to millions of tons of sanitary pad waste.
In North America alone, roughly 20 billion period products are disposed of in landfills every year, and around 12 billion of those are menstrual pads.
To help curb that waste, Sparkle said it’s launching two pilot waste management programs for its products, one in Boston and the other in California. The Boston pilot program will launch later this year, and offer customers a disposal service where used products will be transformed into “biochar” through a pyrolysis process.
To make biochar, the material is exposed to high heat with little to no oxygen. That thermo-chemically transforms it into a stable, charcoal-like residue in just a few hours, Sparkle said.
Biochar is highly porous, providing ideal conditions for microorganisms to thrive. It increases the water-holding capacity of soil and reduces the need for fertilizer, allowing it to be used as a soil amendment.
“This pilot program will change the way people dispose of their products, and we think it will expand to other parts of the country as it catches on,” Hetal Virani said in a statement.
Sparkle has won an international EDANA Index 2023 Award in the category of “Sustainable Product” for SugaFluff, a fluff pulp made from sugarcane bagasse fibers.
David Seeley contributed to this report.
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