5 Eco-friendly alternatives to period pads and tampons
Bloody good stuff
Every year, the period product industry generates more than 200,000 tonnes of waste that ends up in landfill and our oceans. Plus, the average woman produces between 125 to 150 kg of waste in tampons, pads (including packaging and applicators) her lifetime. This sheer number is certainly shocking, but there are ways you can help to bring that number down.
By this point, you’ve probably heard of menstrual cups, everyone’s first thought when it comes to sustainable periods. It’s true—they’re a great, effective solution to menstrual management and they’re a safe option.
However, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea—whether you’re just not a tampon person and the thought scares you, or you’ve given them a go and simply found that they’re not a good fit for you, the good news is that there is a growing market for alternative pads and tampons to get you out of this ethical pickle.
From period panties and reusable pads to biodegradable pads and tampons to the world’s first reusable tampon applicator, here are five brands you need to know to get you on your way to an eco-friendly period.
This zero-waste shop has made a name for itself in Malaysia and Singapore, selling everything under the sun from groceries to skincare to dental care and, most importantly, feminine care.
Their reusable pads are hypoallergenic, leak-proof, absorbent, and they come in three sizes: small, medium and large. To wash, simply soak and rinse in cold water to prevent staining then launder as usual.
Aisle, previously known as Lunapads, is a veteran of the sustainable period game, having released their first line of sustainable products in 1993.
This brand’s menstrual underwear comes in four styles: boxer briefs, briefs, hipster and bikini. In addition, they can hold up to four tampons worth of blood with its Truetex™ fabric technology. The best part? They’re super easy to clean; just rinse them with cool water and chuck ‘em into your regular laundry with like colours.
Aisle’s reusable pads come in mini, maxi or super and they work a treat! They too hold four tampons worth of blood and are leak-proof and breathable as well. Like the undies, just rinse them with cool water and pop into the wash with the rest of your laundry.
Dear Kate is a women-lead brand dedicated to providing reliable, comfortable active and everyday wear for women everywhere. They created the leak-resistant and stain fighting Underlux™ technology found in all of their products.
Their period underwear is a force to be reckoned with. Coming in three styles: hipster, brief and the thong, these panties don’t skimp on femininity for the sake of practicality. Find them in an array of colours and styles, laced up or not. The absorbency of the moisture wicking, breathable period panties depends on which style you pick, with the thong holding one light tampon’s worth of fluid and the hipster holding two. Plus, they also do activewear and dancewear so you can work out leak-free!
Lola provides feminine care for women, by women. Their products are made of 100% cotton and are free of synthetic fibers, fragrance, dyes, superabsorbent polymers, deodorant and bleach.
These gynaecologist-approved biodegradable pads are made of 100% cotton and are actually shaped to fit your underwear for a change! You can customise your subscription box according to your cycle, with options for delivery every four weeks or eight weeks.
Their cardboard applicator tampons are hypoallergenic and made of 100% organic cotton tampons which are gynaecologist-approved and designed to expand width-wise, making them leak-proof. Likewise to the pads, you can customise what gets delivered to you, and when according to your individual cycle.
As the creator of the first reusable tampon applicator, Dame is one of the leading brands of the feminine hygiene industry.
Their ‘D’ reusable tampon applicators are a gamechanger in the period sustainability game. The innovative product is sleek and smooth for maximum comfort, carbon neutral and self sanitising, meaning that a simple rinse and dry after use will have it ready to go again. If that’s not incentive enough, buying just one tampon applicator saves 12,000 applicators! Purchase their reusable tampon applicator set here to get a reusable tin and zip wallet as well as six cotton tampons.