Disclaimer: This is my own personal and honest review of the products below. ModiBodi and The Earthwise Girls were kind enough to send me some of their products for free after I requested them for review purposes. They made no requirements in any way and have had no input on my review at all. I purchased the Mooncup and Natracare items myself and have an affiliate link for Mooncup which means if you buy via my link I get a small commission and you pay no extra.
I will be reviewing these more in detail once my cycle comes back around so please stay tuned! Don’t forget to subscribe to the mailing list so you don’t miss a thing!
Today we are going to be taking a look at the types of alternative menstruation products that are much more cost effective for you and for the environment.
Lets face it, having a period is not cheap. Especially since we have to pay tax on items deemed a “luxury” (like, what is so luxurious about having a period?!)
According to the Huffington post, women on average women spend £18,000 in their lifetime on their periods. Not only is that a staggering amount of money, but also has a staggering impact on our environment.
Did you know it takes at least 6 months for a regular tampon to decompose and a whopping 500 years for a sanitary towel to decompose?
So when you put that into perspective, on average a woman will throw away around 22 disposable sanitary items (around one plastic bag per month) and that makes up one wheelie-bin worth of period products each and every year. Per lifetime, thats around 40 wheelie bins of waste (obviously dependant on when you start your period and when you start the menopause)
So if you multiply that by how many women there are in the world, roughly 3.7 billion….well you get the idea. And where does all this waste end up? In a landfill site.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Thanks to advances in science, technology and education, there have been some amazing breakthroughs on how we view our ‘time of the month’ and the products we use to deal with it.
I have four products, which, even though there is still a degree of waste attached to them, they are at least the right step forward in the battle to limit our menstrual waste.
Reusable Underwear by ModiBodi
Price – from £15 for one pair
These are a fairly newish concept. Washable, reusable underwear. Not only do ModiBodi cater for your time of the month, they also have a range for new mums, active or gym going people and even swimwear.
Their product range covers you for all stages in your cycle – super light (which also come in a thong style), light moderate, moderate heavy and heavy, so ideally you would need to purchase a combination of all absorbencies for the various stages of your period. Probably a couple of each would be enough dependant on how frequently you need to change.
There is nothing complicated about wearing the ModiBodi underwear. You just wear them like a normal pair of knickers and go about your day! You don’t need to wear a pad or tampon with them as the ‘pad’ is built into the garment.
How does ModiBodi Work?
- The top layer quickly wicks away moisture, fights bacteria and stops odours.
- The middle layer quickly absorbs fluid and locks it away (up to 20 mls absorbency, roughly 2 tampons worth)
- The third bottom layer gives you extra leak-proof protection, ensuring no leaking through to clothes.
- They are stain resistant, fast drying and odour free.
How to clean
When you need to change, rinse in cold water until the water runs clear, then pop them into the washing machine on a cool delicates wash; just detergent, no fabric softener. Hang them up to dry ready to wear again.
- They have a wide range of designs so you don’t look like a total granny! They even have thongs.
- Sizes that range up to a UK 20
- Sizes suitable for young girls who have just started their period
- Initially very expensive, so might not be practical for everyone.
- If you have heavy flow and want to wear something skin tight and fancy, these may give you epic visible panty line.
Washable Sanitary Pads by The Earthwise Girls
Price – starter bundle is £19.95 and each individual pad is £4.50
The concept of reusable pads have been around for many years but the design and technology has dramatically improved (thankfully!).
The pads I have here are by The Earthwise Girls. I have their starter bundle which includes 1 x Long Pad for heavy flow, 2 x Medium Pads for normal flow, 1 x Small Pad for lighter flow. It all comes in a cute pad purse that you can discreetly store them in. You can also buy each individual pad to ‘top up’ your collection and would need a couple of each absorbency (depending on how often you need to change) to cover you for your whole cycle.
What I really love about The Earthwise Girls is that not only do they stock a whole range of environmentally friendly menstruation products (and loads of other Eco stuff too), they also have a superb environmental policy (reviewed yearly) and have put measures in place so their business premises is as friendly to the environment as possible.
How do the Earthwise Girls Pads work?
The top layer of microfleece gives a stay dry feel while moisture is locked away in the microfiber core. The pads are backed with leakproof Polyurethane laminate, and have a choice of 2 popper settings on the wings to suit your needs. Again you would change these as often as you normally would your disposable pads.
How to clean
Like the ModiBodi pants, you would rinse these first in cold water before popping them in the washing machine on a cool wash with no fabric softener, no more than 40 degrees, then leave to air dry.
- Design is super cute
- Gentler on the skin than a normal pad
- A cheaper alternative to reusable underwear
- Initial investment could be expensive, depending on your own circumstances and needs.
- Washing and waiting for them to dry could be a problem if you didn’t have any on backup.
Mooncup Menstruation Cup
Price – £21.99 for both sizes
Menstruation cups have become very popular recently with many ladies turning to them for a whole host of reasons. Better for the environment, better for your body, better for your budget.
Mooncups are made from soft, medical-grade silicone and are latex-free. The best part about these is that they don’t absorb moisture or leave fibres behind, which means that the Mooncup is suitable for even the lightest days of your period. They are hypoallergenic, contain no dyes, perfumes, plastic, bleaches or toxins and is FDA approved.
The Mooncup comes in this cute bag which is also eco friendly. It is made from unbleached organic cotton by a Fairtrade Foundation accredited business. All the instructions printed on 100% recycled paper too.
The Mooncup holds 3 times more than a regular tampon and you will only need the one as the Mooncup lasts for many years.
Mooncup comes in 2 sizes:
Size A – if you are over 30 or have given birth vaginally whatever your age
Size B – if you are under 30 and have not given birth vaginally whatever your age
How do Menstruation Cups work?
- You need to make sure your hands are clean before inserting
- To insert you would fold it in a C fold, or whatever works for you. Mooncup have a wide range of techniques on their website. So its just finding one that suits you.
- You place the cup as low down in your vagina as possible as it will sit much lower than a tampon
- The stem helps you to remove the cup once it is full and you will need to trim it the first time you use it to suit your own body shape.
- To remove, squeeze the bottom of the cup to release the seal then slide out
- Tip the contents down the toilet
- Rinse with water only – soaps or gels or anything other than water can cause the materials to breakdown and therefore making the product work less effectively.
- If you are in a public restroom or out hiking etc, you can use bottled water to rinse the cup
- Wipe with tissue
- Even though the Mooncup holds more than a regular tampon, it still needs to be changed every 8 hours to prevent toxic shock syndrome.
How to clean
To throughly cleanse, pop the Mooncup into a pan of boiling water then you can use a sterilising solution if you wish to further cleanse. Many women choose to do this at the end of their cycle, or you can do it every-time you change.
- Holds 3x more than a regular tampon so you don’t need to change as frequently
- Lasts years, so you don’t ever need to buy tampons again
- More practical if you are in a remote location or not near proper sanitary bins
- Can be awkward to get used to at first.
- If you are squeamish and don’t like the sight blood this might not be for you.
Natracare Biodegradable Tampons & Sanitary Towels
Price – The tampons retail at £3.49 and the pads retail at £2.49.
If reusable products are not for you, biodegradable one time use items might be.
It seems ludicrous that companies such as Always, Tampax and Bodyform do not invest time and money in making their products more environmentally friendly or biodegradable. Natracare are probably one of the only brands that are biodegradable. The sad fact is that I had to order these online and they weren’t available in my local Tesco or big supermarkets. If these were more widely available we could reduce waste a hell of a lot more.
How do they work?
Natracare is made from natural materials. They are animal friendly, vegan, recommended by gynaecologists, sustainably sourced, certified organic AND Totally Chlorine Free. They are made from renewable, biodegradable and compostable materials including organic cotton, bioplastics (made from plant starches) and wood pulp. Even though they are plant-based they are highly effective at locking away menstrual fluid and the absence of synthetic materials ensures your skin is able to breathe and stay dry.
How to dispose
Natracare suggest that you dispose of these in your regular domestic compost bin, as the materials they are made of need that environment to properly break down.
- Much better for the environment if you don’t like the idea of reusable sanitary items
- Suitable for vegans
- Certified organic
- Better for your body
- Only available at smaller independent supermarkets or stores.
- Need to be disposed of correctly. If you are out and about or travelling etc, I doubt there there will be a compost bin next to you, so you will need to bring your used items home with you to dispose of correctly.
Cheap initial investment that will last you years. Can be used wherever you are with minimal fuss and is much gentler and safer on your body than regular disposable products. You can use the Mooncup and go about your normal daily activities without having to worry about changing or washing pads or carrying around bulky spares. Their environmental and ethical policies are great and they support and donate to a multitude of different charities around the world.
Have you tried any of the products above? If you have I would love to hear from you! Leave me a comment down below or send me an email! firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are into ASMR, please do check out the companion video to this Blog post
(whoa, slow down there lady, what the heck is ASMR? Well Im glad you asked because you can read about it HERE)