By Eliana from GladRags
There are certain disposable, single-use items that can feel a lot harder to break up with than others, and menstrual products tend to be high on that list. It can be daunting to imagine your bathroom cupboard without its customary box of tampons or pads! After all, you’ve been using them for years, so you’re basically a pro at them - wouldn’t trying a whole new thing be difficult and intimidating?
Fortunately, getting started with reusable, sustainable menstrual products is way easier than it seems! It’s also an important step on the journey to creating less waste. Disposable tampons, pads, and pantyliners (and much of their packaging) have nowhere to go but the landfill once their job is done. And before they even get to you, they have their heaviest environmental impact by way of their manufacturing. Reusable menstrual products, on the other hand, are made to last for years! Switching to reusables also has the added advantages of being good for your body (I’ll take breathable cotton pads over weird synthetic maxi pads any day!) and your budget (buying something that lasts for years is way gentler on your wallet than continuously replacing single-use items). Sign you up? Sure, right this way!
GladRags carries two main types of reusables: cloth pads and a menstrual cup. Cloth pads are the same idea as disposable pads, but made with fabric, so that they can be washed and reused. Our pads are 100% cotton, offered in both undyed organic cotton and colorful regular cotton. Not only are they conveniently machine washable, but you can also conserve water by tossing them in with the rest of your laundry! They come in a variety of sizes and styles to suit your absorbency and coverage needs: Pantyliners are great for light flow or everyday wear, Day Pads suit a medium flow, and Night Pads are built for those who need maximum absorbency and coverage. Once you’ve determined which pads you need, there’s no “right” way to start out - just whichever way is most comfortable to you! You can buy a kit containing a variety of sizes to kick off your collection, or a single pad just to see how it goes.
Menstrual cups are devices worn internally to catch the flow of menstrual blood rather than absorb it. To use one, you simply fold and insert it. It will then pop open, form a seal to prevent leaks, and collect your flow until you’re ready to remove it. Many people describe the switch to a cup as "life-changing," since it's just one simple device that does its job whether you're sitting, sleeping, or running a marathon! GladRags’ menstrual cup is the XO Flo, made of comfortable, flexible silicone and with a high volume capacity. It can be worn safely for up to 12 hours, and can last up to 10 years with proper care. That’s hundreds of tampons’ worth!
As with many lifestyle changes, taking the plunge can be the hardest part. Hopefully this crash course on reusable menstrual options has you feeling more confident about ditching the disposables!