There’s no doubt that the period industry is making waves towards sustainability, with the arrival of an innovative reusable tampon applicator, organic cotton tampons and the proliferation of menstrual cups. But what about the humble sani pad?
While it may still seem to sit on the more extreme side of sustainability, people are starting to come around to the concept of a reusable sanitary towel. Stay with me..
Think about it. Reusable baby nappies have enjoyed meteoric rise in popularity over the last ten years, not only for environmental reasons but for cost reasons as well. Usually, the super absorbent core is concealed by a stay-dry fabric that is easy to wash and totally hygienic. And nappies have to deal with far more problematic substances than a sanitary towel.
So here’s everything you need to know about reusable sanitary towels so you can see that they’re not actually that extreme at all.
What are they made of?
Usually, they’re made of layers of flannel and super absorbent cotton fleece. The number of layers will determine how much they are able to absorb – the heavier the flow, the more layers you’ll need. Contrary to what you might think, they’re no more bulky than any other sanitary towel.
Do they come in different sizes?
Oh yes. Just like regular towels, they’re available with wings, without wings, extra long, extra thick and in panty liner form. Check online retailer Earthwise Girls, which sells no less than 18 different types of pads, including various prints.
How do you wash them?
They’re machine-washable! Just whack them in at 60 degrees with a little non-bio and you’re done! However, skip the fabric conditioner as this can affect the absorbency after time. Hang them to air-dry and re-use as many times are you like.
Are there any risks?
Because they’re not an internal menstrual product, there is no risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome. As with any sanitary product, you shouldn’t wear it for longer than recommended, mainly because you’ll start leaking or, um, smelling.