North America’s first biodegradable incontinence brief company for seniors will help put more green back in people’s pockets while helping tushes be less red.
Start-up company Green Giantz designed briefs — otherwise known as adult diapers — that are more absorbent, environmentally friendly, cost-effective, and don’t cause skin rashes.
Simi Rajput, co-founder and CEO of the Langley company, comes from a background in health sciences and senior care. She came up with the idea in 2021 after her newborn son developed rashes from conventional disposable diapers.
In her search for alternatives, Rajput learned that conventional diapers take more than 500 years to decompose and have 50 different chemicals that can cause the rashes. She found a biodegradable diaper for her son, which fixed his rash issue and reduced their carbon footprint.
However, she could not find a similar alternative for seniors.
“I know incontinence wound care is a huge issue and really depletes the quality of life of our seniors — once you get a rash as an elder, the skin takes a very long time to heal and most often it gets worse and worse,” Rajput explained.
Seniors need changing five to six times each day, she said, due to current absorbency of conventional incontinence products, but the number can vary if a senior is, for instance, on a feeding tube, which can cause loose stools and requires changing right away to prevent a rash.
She estimates that changes needed in a day will be reduced to three to four times thanks to the increased absorbency of her briefs. That reduces costs and makes less waste.
“Reduced wound care cost and increase quality of life for seniors” are the key benefits, she said. “It’s approximately $200 per day for wound-care cost per resident.”
Rajput said her product reduced that cost, and can help give more time back to nurses and caregivers.
“I wanted to produce a biodegradable disposable brief that was free of chemicals, and had almost double the absorbency capacity to minimize moisture associated rashes and dermatitis,” she said.
While her product is compostable to avoid ending up in landfills, there are no composting facilities in Canada that accept the Green Giantz briefs, Rajput said.
But she has been in discussion with one facility B.C. company about composting Green Giantz in the future.
At the moment, Green Giantz is run by Rajput, her husband who is a mechanical engineer, and one employee in their warehouse on the Langley/Surrey border. She attended Cornell University and has a masters in health care. Rajput is the former regional director of operations for BC Senior Homes ans has worked at BC Children’s Hospital, and BC Women’s Hospital as director of operations in the food and nutrition department.
She said she named the company after the green giant arborvitae tree, which is easy to grow and generally pest and disease free.
“As a new company, and also being the first ones in North America to provide biodegradable briefs for seniors, we want to be as resilient as a green giant tree,” Rajput explained. “We want to serve and improve the quality of life for our seniors and also provide an alternative eco-friendly option.”
Green Giantz started delivering directly to care homes across Canada earlier this year and is refining the design based on customer input.
“Change is never easy that’s why we always follow up with sites and how we can help them as nurses and other people are use to the old products,” Rajput said. “However we have received overwhelmingly positive response. One feedback we got is to change the side tabs from a stick on tabs to an elastic belt for a better fit. We took that feedback and will incorporate that and have changed the side tab design for our next batch that we will manufacture.”
For more information, people can visit greengiantz.com or email Rajput at firstname.lastname@example.org.