We are proud to say that we are fast becoming the trusted source for green sanitary napkins made reusing the scraps. Ella pad is a social initiative run by poor working women. Our vision to ensure health and wellbeing of marginal women with a mission of zero waste textile.  Our producers and customers are leaving under same umbrella. Initially our target is our 4 million women workers of about 5000 export oriented garment factories. Apparel brands are welcoming us to create a shared value for their business. We are well accepted to the leading business associations and government people for enhancing the image of Bangladesh that we lost after Rana Plaza and Tazreen incidents.

Our Mission


Ella pad is run by its producers and user group marginal women. Users are selecting their leader to coordinate the work as head of the organization. Producers electing their company representatives to represent at the Board of Directors to set the policy guidelines and organizational strategies. The board is selecting a Managing Director to head the organization as a chief executive officer.


Within a span of three months, we have noticed that the rate of absenteeism has decreased to a great extent, which has helped to increase our overall productivity. In addition, the Ella solution has decreased the rate of migration too. For example, when a supervisor shouts at the workers for absenteeism, it becomes an uncomfortable work environment for them.

Khalid Shahrior , GM - BEXIMCO Textiles

I’m grateful to Ella Pad, which made our life easy.

Rahima, Factory Worker

Instead of using rags, now I use sanitary napkins and re-usable underwear that I make at my workplace on my own, without spending a single taka on it. I don’t need to rely on only one rag for eight hours that I would place before going to work and change after returning home. Instead, I can use as many pads as I need and dispose of them in the basket in the toilet.

Rahima, Factory Worker

An international publicaiton has highlighted Ella Pad as the best innovation titled
Customer Experience Innovation: How to get a lasing market edge”
Click the link below to read the book.

Read the publication here




Who is the owner of the Ella pad?2019-03-20T17:39:14+00:00

Ella producers – female workers – are main owner of the business. The female workers of factories are selecting their representative in electoral college systems and sending their representative at the Ella Board of Directors. Then the board is selecting a Managing Director to lead the organization.

What is Ella Alliance?2019-03-20T17:38:55+00:00

Ella pad has formed an alliane with both public and private organizations including a number of trade bodies and associations to facilitate the Ella pad initiatives among the targetted user groups. Organization with the objective of promoting the menstrual health and welbing of women can join Ella Alliance.

What is Ella business model?2019-03-20T17:38:43+00:00

Ella is not for profit. This is an initiative supported by a group of volunteers, students and academic people across the world. The objective of the business is to address the triple bottom line: economy, society and environment. It is also said 3W model – where produced by women, managed by women and consumed by women. Doing agreement with the factory owners, not as CSR rather for creating shared value, Ella is taking support from the factories to run its operational cost.

What is about the hygiene safety of Ella maintained?2019-03-20T17:37:55+00:00

Ella pads are totally safe for women and maintaining hygiene. It has been standardized and certified. A group of local scientists and international experts are continuously giving feedback on our products quality in maintaining standards and ensuring safety and hygiene.

How is Ella designed using Co-creation method?2019-03-20T17:37:43+00:00

The design process of the Ella pad is participatory using co-creation method. Ella pads are being designed in a collaborative approach. Generally, our producers are our main users. So with their first-hand experiences, they are continuously improving the products during the production stages. Further, we are regularly consulting with wider group of users in focus groups to improve the design process.

What are the machines and technologies for Ella production?2019-03-20T17:37:23+00:00

Ella is using totally the local knowledge, technologies. To reduce the carbon footprint, it is using 100% local materials. Machineries available in export oriented ready-made garment factories are being used to make it. After couple of hours training the garment factory women can easily make it.

Is Ella a business or initiative?2019-03-20T17:37:03+00:00

Ella is a social initiative not traditional business. It’s free for garment factory people. Not sold outside so far. Workers make it reusing their factory waste just for their own consumption. Surplus products are taken away by themselves for their school going girls or daughters.

How are Ella Pad disposed?2019-03-20T17:36:47+00:00

Unlike other traditional pads, our standard Ella pads are 100% degradable. It could be disposed normally in a normal waste bin. Ella pads degrade within 6-12 months of disposal under normal conditions and become faster once mixed with other waste materials and turned into bio-fertilizer.

How is Ella Pad being distributed among its users group?2019-03-20T17:36:31+00:00

Ella pads are usually distributed among its users group by the community initiative. The workers and beneficiary groups of the garments/textile factories are making  and using it. It’s stored at the factory medical centers and distributed among the workers free of cost. Male workers of the same factory can carry back to their home for their female family members as well.

How are Ella pads ensuring women’s health and wellbeing?2019-03-20T17:36:16+00:00

Ella pads are available in different sizes and shapes both disposable and reusable. They are suitable for regular to heavy flow.

In addition to the pads, Ella has introduced special type of underwears, which could be used with/without pads.  Our co-creation team are doing research on new items and hope come up with more variation soon!

What are the sizes of Ella pads?2019-03-20T17:36:00+00:00

Ella pads are available in different sizes and shapes both disposable and reusable. They are suitable for regular to heavy flow.

In addition to the pads, Ella has introduced special type of underwears, which could be used with/without pads.  Our co-creation team are doing research on new items and hope come up with more variation soon!

How are the scrpas collected and maintained for Ella Pad?2019-03-20T17:35:36+00:00

It is noted that scraps used for the Ella Pad are not collected from waste bins or garbase areas. Rather, scraps are carefully separated during the cutting secton of the factories. Through out the all steps, it is maintained the standard hygien procedures until final production is completed.

What are the differences between Ella pads and other brands?2019-03-20T17:28:24+00:00

Ella pads are made of recycling stuff. It is totally hygiene, standardized and certified. It is biodegradable and made from eco-friendly cotton fiber. It is also made of organic cotton. Most pads are 90% plastic and made from chlorine-bleached wood pulp. Unlike others, we are avoiding all types of gels, chemicals or synthetic fibers that could be harmful and diseases like itching, rashes or even cervical cancer. Our pads can also degrade within 6 months- 1200x faster than plastic pads! Ella pad is totally a green product. Making each of the Ella pad we are saving 300 liter of water and 0.1 kg of CO2 which is equivalent of running a car of at least 10 kilometers.

What are the social cost of the Ella Pad?2019-03-20T17:35:20+00:00

Ella pads are made of recycling stuffs and maintaining zero waste policy. Left over or cut-pieces are used to make the pads. Usually these wastes were earlier thrown away for land filling or burned by brick fields for creating huge incineration, causing the flood and so.


Please let us know if you have questions or need clarification. For further information, please write us at: m.rahman@ellapad.org


We run projects in over 10 factories countrywide


Videos and Documentaries


Together we make all the difference

Mamumnur Rahman,inventor of low-cost sanitary pad for garment

workers and founder of Ella Alliance

‘About four million women work in 5000 garment factories in Bangladesh.

Most factories have inadequate toilet and many women have menstrual hygiene problems, even losing days at work because of this. I realized that the garment factories were throwing away so many textile scraps and that these could be used to make eco-friendly sanitary towels. We persuaded the factories to let a group of women make their own towels, the Ellapad, to improve health, and reduce waste’

Ella Pad Exhibition at the American Center, Dhaka

Two weeks long exhibition of Ella Pad held at Edward M. Kennedy Center (American Center), Dhaka from December 23, 2018 to January 5, 2019. Hundreds of audience gathered at the exhibition place, which was opened



Mamunur Rahman
Mamunur RahmanFounder
FCO Chevening Scholar & U.S. Fulbright/ Humphrey Fellow
Matt Syal
Matt SyalAdviser
Professor, Construction Management | School of Planning, Design and Construction | Michigan State University
Dr Sriram Narayanan
Dr Sriram NarayananAdviser
Kesseler Family Endowed Faculty Fellowship in Supply Chain Management | Michigan State University
Libby McDonald
Libby McDonaldAdviser
Inclusive Economies Specialist; Instructor – MIT D-Lab
Anish Paul Antony
Anish Paul AntonyAdviser
Postdoctoral Researcher, MIT D-Lab
Patrick Schröder
Patrick SchröderAdviser
Research Fellow | Institute of Development Studies
Linda Waldman
Linda WaldmanAdviser
Director of Teaching and Learning | Institute of Development Studies
Shirley Randell
Shirley RandellAdviser
Board Director | Indigo Foundation, Australia
Wahiduddin Mahmud
Wahiduddin MahmudAdviser
Professor of Economics, University of Dhaka | Country Advisor, International Growth Center at LSE


As long as poverty, injustice & inequality persist, none of us can truly rest. It doesn’t take much to change a life, Get in touch today and start making the difference.