We’ve been doing it for so long, we don’t really think about it: Your period arrives, and you reach for a pad or tampon. But there are a host of ingenious new products on the market now, and bonus: Many of them are much better for the environment and created by companies headed up by women.
Reusable tampon applicators
In the UK, there are nine used plastic tampon applicators for every kilometre of beach, so it’s safe to say that, handy as tampon applicators are, they’re wreaking havoc on the environment. Enter D by Dame, the first reusable tampon applicator. Now available to back on Kickstarter, it’s well designed, ergonomic and boasts impressive self-cleaning technology.
You may have seen these blowing up on your Instagram: Thinx are menstrual underpants. Depending on the heaviness of your flow, you can get away with wearing these and nothing else during your period. How do they work? They’re made from high tech fabric that Thinx say is “anti-microbial, moisture-wicking, absorbent and leak-resistant”. They’re reusable too: Simply rinse, cold wash and hang dry. From $34, shethinx.com
First invented in the 1930s but only really getting mainstream attention now, the advantages of menstrual cups are plentiful: They save you a fortune, they can be used for up to 12 hours, they reduce the number of pads and tampons that end up in landfills (a whopping 20 billion every year), and you never have to worry about making a mad dash to the chemist as each cup lasts up to twelve months.
A few brands worth checking out include Lunette, €31.89, Diva Cup, €25.99 (available from Irish online store Earth Mother) and Fun Cups, €38 (available on Sex Siopa). There’s even Looncup, a ‘smart’ menstrual cup, that comes with with built-in sensors and an app to remind you when it’s time to change it.
Thinking of ditching your pads or tampons for one of these innovative alternatives? Don’t forget to find a good home for your disposables. Homeless Period is a charity helping to provide sanitary products to homeless women on Irish streets. Helping is simple: Just drop off your extra menstrual products at one of the many handy collection points dotted around Dublin, Cork, Galway and Kildare and they’ll do the rest.
Don’t miss Nathalie’s compelling piece on the Menstrual Movement in our new May issue - just out!