Let’s do some math, real quick. (Yeah, a sentence we never thought we’d write either.) A woman’s average period lasts five days. That’s five to seven days, every month, every year, for a good 40 years or so, of our lives. If you do the math (which we’re not going to do, and borrow from an article dedicated to the same)—that’s approximately TEN WHOLE YEARS of continuous bleeding. That’s also, ten whole years of disposable menstrual products, wherein each person goes through at least two to three products per day. Let’s round that up to...10,000-11,000 pieces, per woman, on this planet. Do you see where we’re going with this?
No? Well, this conversation can go two ways. One, where we talk about how much waste we’re generating, through these disposable items annually, or two, how often we’re exposing ourselves to chemicals with more numbers than alphabets, in their name. OR, we’ll do one better—a solution to both these problems.
Scroll on for a list of seven menstrual products that are reusable, and could potentially help save our planet:
I. Eco Femme
Here’s one way to be socially conscious, in more ways than one. When you buy from Eco Femme’s range of reusable cotton pads, not only do you help sustain the livelihood of rural women who help stitch these pads, but with each purchase, girls in villages receive these pads too. The company is based in Auroville, and offers fun colours in their range of Day Pads, Night Pads, and Panty Liners.
HG Loves: This initiative is led by women, for women and our planet. Talk about girl power! Plus, we love the idea behind their Pad for Pad program. It is a program to support menstrual education for adolescent girls from economically disadvantaged backgrounds in India.
Price: Pads starting from INR 235.
II. Heart Felt
An American brand popular for their eco-friendly household products, they began to manufacture reusable pads with organic material. Wool, bamboo and charcoal are the natural products they mainly stick to. Although based in Utah, their products are available on Amazon India.
HG Loves: The pretty florals! We’re loving how brands are moving from the boring ol’ white, to some solid, fun-loving colours and prints.
Price: Including shipping costs, packs start at INR 3000.
Noticing India’s lack of reusable menstrual products, Gayathri Subramanian started making these reusable, natural cloth pads. In an interview, she said, “Disposable pads are not actually DISPOSABLE! They do not decompose in the landfills and they are toxic waste. Even if they are burnt in incinerators, the ash that is the by-product of it, is toxic.” The Jaioni cloth pads come free of chemicals like bleach, gel, and other additives.
HG Loves: These pads are made out of cloth, that is normally excess tailor material. This material is reused, thereby decreasing waste on both ends!
Price: Packs starting from INR 1,025.
IV. Rustic Art
Describing themselves as Nature Lovers, Rustic Art is passionate about the environment, and they’ve found a way to help deal with ‘disposable’ waste in India—Menstrual Cups. They believe in living a life free of toxins, chemicals and artificial elements. They offer multiple options on their website, with recommendations according to your age and lifestyle.
HG Loves: Besides menstrual products, they also provide environmental friendly options when it comes to Body, Hair, Home, and Baby products.
Price: Cups starting from INR 850.
Another Indian brand that focuses on Menstrual Cups as an effective measure to curb disposable waste, is SheCup. Their main area of work is in Menstrual Hygiene Management, and they impart education on the same. They emphasize on the usage of menstrual cups as they claim it is a more hygienic, convenient and comfortable alternative to pads and tampons; allowing you to go about your life without worrying about your period.
HG Loves: The fact that they truly focus on other environmental initiatives like the tree plantation program, is inspiring. They don’t just plant trees, but look after them for the next three to five years!
Price: INR 999, for one cup.
VI. She Thinx
While She Thinx is an international brand, their idea is revolutionary—reusable period panties that LOOK GREAT! No more granny panties while you’re on your period with these, that’s for sure. They also promise that it definitely does not feel like you’re ‘sitting in your own blood’, a common fear. You can choose panties according to your lifestyle and flow, from their chart of suggestions.
HG Loves: They’ve got everything covered. From hip huggers, to sports shorts, to thongs! These women do not mess around.
Price: While it is steep considering shipping, you should check them out during a sale, or invest in a cycle set, which offers you a discount. Prices start from INR 1,500.
VII. Silky Cup
This brand has been around since 2014, and comes in multiple sizes for women, based on their age. Priced competitively, the cup has received several positive reviews, especially since unlike other cups, it stays put for a good 12 hours. Great for travel and sports, women who have converted to the menstrual cup, rave about how free they feel now.
HG Loves: The cup is an investment, lasting for up to 10 years!
Price: Each size is priced the same, at INR 600.