This is a very controversial post, I have been thinking about it for few months and some people told me not to do it, but finally, I decided to talk about this taboo subject. If you are of a delicate nature, maybe skip this one and come back for the next post.
Have you ever wondered what are tampons & sanitary towels made of? Or when they were invented? I never asked this questions until recently, I never wondered how much waste I was creating. Feminine sanitary products haven’t changed much since the great depression of 1930’s. The disposable sanitary towels (the most popular product globally) was first commercialised in 1895, even though they didn’t become popular until the 80’s. They are mainly made out different types of plastics and cellulose. On the other hand, tampons have been used since the Romans, yes, since the Romans!! But the tampons we know were patented by Dr Earle C. Haas in 1929. Currently, it is the second most popular product for feminine hygiene in the western world and they are composed mainly of cotton, but they also contain cellulose, polyester and/or polyethene. The average American women will through an average up to 150 kg of disposable menstrual products during her lifetime, that’s the size of an adult deer! Because of the plastic components, these products will not biodegrade.
As side from the environmental issues, my main concern is the health implications that could come from them. Having plastics or even cotton (cotton uses more chemical pesticides than any other crop) in contact with the skin can be harmful to our health. Fortunately, new alternatives are coming to the market and that is what I want to talk about. Around a year ago I found out about Thinx a company that has redesigned the sanitary towel, they developed a fashionable period-proof underwear. Their underwear can be used as a complete replacement of other sanitary products, even though they don’t make such bold claims on their website. The fact is that I have been using them for almost a year, without issues and I love them! I think one of the main concerns is whether they will last all day long, and in my case, they do comfortably, but maybe for people with a heavy flow, they may require a change during the day. They don’t quite feel like normal underwear, but at the same time, they do! It’s hard to explain. They have two layers, which make them look a bit weightier, but once you wear them you will forget that you are in your period pants, which is great! I find them to be the perfect sustainable alternative to traditional disposable products. The main disadvantage is that they required a pre-wash before putting them in the washing machine, but honestly, after a couple of uses you just get used to it and I actually wash them by hand. Since women we have started to question this type of products, more clean alternatives are reaching the market and is about time we start making better choices, not just for our own health, but also for mother earth.
Hope you find this post interesting, and I would love to hear if you have started to used any alternative product and what has been your experience!