Sustainable Pads for People with Periods

Why I make pads? - Because the people and the planet matter.

During the last few years, while running the LoomRoom I have learned to appreciate the value and power of community. I am more and more concerned about the inequality in our society as well as the state of our environment. I am angry about our inaction. I am looking for a way in which I can add my little puzzle piece to the big picture of social and climate action. If many of us do a small thing it adds up to something big.

I am a person with periods and I have made the decision to talk openly about it. There is no shame in bleeding. For many years I used the products off the shelf because it was too difficult to switch to a more sustainable product. Since then I have learned that every package of throw away pads contains the equivalent of five shopping plastic bags. I have learned that the chemicals in pads and tampons get absorbed by the body. Some of the cramps we have, go away when we switch to cloth pads. I have learned that using a silicone menstrual cup is comfortable, easy and cheap for me and I have regrets I did not try it earlier. However, sometimes I do not want to use a cup and then the cloth pads are a really cool alternative.

Cloth pads can also be the solution for people who need to deal with leakage. The pads as they are can be used for women with leakage and I am open for help to design pads for men with leakage. It is another subject which, if spoken about, can be dealt with appropriately and practically. 

As a textile artist and designer I know that it is not too difficult to make really nice pads quite easily. They can be as comfortable as clothes. As a teacher I know it is achievable to make a decent pad. As a textile designer I believe it is more healthy for the body to use recycled 100% natural fabrics which are actually freely available to us.

This image shows some examples of pads we made from recycled materials in a group production bee.

They are not perfect but functional and personal. We were learning skills while doing them. If looked after well, a pad can be used for years.

They are made from 100% natural fabrics, plus a waterproof PUL-layer (optional).  PUL is polyurethane coated polyester which is breathable while preventing leakage.

When you discontinue a pad, I recommend you separate the PUL layer and snaps out by cutting the edge off the pad and discard it and the PUL into landfill, while all the other layers can be composted or burned.

 

The initiative City to Sea in Bristol, UK I found last week is fascinating me. I would like to help found a social enterprise like that in New Zealand. Watch a movie which explains why as many people with periods as possible should switch to plastic free options.

https://www.citytosea.org.uk/campaign/plastic-free-periods/turning-tides/