In the UK alone, we use about 4.3 billion single use sanitary products a year. An individual will be using around 11,000 disposable sanitary pads in her lifetime. And an estimated 1.3 million pads get flushed down the toilet, costing millions in clearing blocked drains. These plastic pads not only sit in the landfills for years (around 500 years), but the toxins used in these pads are polluting our oceans, thereby endangering the great marine life. The dioxins and carcinogens that are in these pads, enter our bodies through contact and can be literally deadly. So what is the solution?
Switch To More Sustainable and Healthier Options – Resuseable Cloth Pads
I have been using a menstruation cup for years now after having experienced terrible rashes from disposable pads and extreme dryness from tampons. But I could not go zero waste with my period right away. The cup is not the most convenient thing to empty, wash and insert back in in public washrooms. And I go on long walks which again makes cleaning after a few hours a difficult job, so I always used a sanitary pad to go with my menstruation cup. I might have cut down my use of disposable sanitary products by 90% but not completely.
Enter Bloom and Nora Cloth Pads
Bloom and Nora sent me their trail pack of sanitary pads made with 100% natural fibres. It was an opportunity for me to go zero waste in the red zone area, and I couldn’t have been more delighted.
I was sent a trail kit with two blooms and two Nora pads ranging between their four available sizes. I have used them over the past three cycle and I think I have enough experience to share my thoughts with you.
Blooms are basically made of bamboo core making it extremely soft against your skin and super duper absorbent. My baby uses bamboo nappies and I always thought he is so lucky to have something so cushy against his bits. Now I know how good it actually feels!!
Nora’s are known for it’s stay dry technology and stain proof quality and I have to say, after three cycles they still look as pearly as new.
In terms of performance, they get five stars from me. Not only are they soft but also leak proof. The outer PUL protects the clothing from getting wet and the leak proof edges prevents blood from seeping out.
The Nora Maxi and Bloom Mighty were the perfect team for the first day and night which is when my flow is the heaviest.
And Midi and Mini have performed excellently paired with my menstruation cup on long hikes and walks where there was no access to private toilet or cleaning facility. These pads successfully held any leaks from the overflowing cups and kept me dry and comfortable enough to finish my journey.
One thing that I love about cloth pad is the fact that I don’t get any rashes. Disposables have the quality of drying out the skin which often left me with a rash. So not only did I have to go through the cycle (which in itself is an inconvenience) but also suffer in agony days after my period was over.
As a cloth nappy mama, it was no science for me know how this stuff worked, but for noobs I would recommended atleast three washes (no soap required) before use. This helps with the absorbency. You will see the absorbency improve with use.
After use, wash the blood off with cold tap water and put it either in your laundry basket or in the bathroom bag by Bloom and Nora, which is perfect to keep all the soiled pads together.
When ready, wash it on 40 degrees with a non-bio detergent. No need to tumble dry. Honestly, these pads dry in a flash and tumble drying may not damage the pads right away but will take away a few years of performance from it.
Each one of the pads are less than a tenner and you will need about 10 to 12 pads each cycle. Less if you wash them more regularly. So a £100 for the next 5 years seems like a reasonable investment. That is less than £1.80 a month towards your period.
After having used both Bloom and Nora Pads, my favourites have to the bamboo Bloom pads. It felt the softest and most comfortable against my skin and felt light but sturdy. Nora had no performance issue but my skin was not necessary always happy with it. I felt the urge to change more frequently with Nora than in Blooms.
Also absolutely loved the poppers unlike the sticky wings of the disposables (often tore my knickers). They held the pads in place for hours and the wings were wide enough to prevent leaks but slim enough for comfort.
I also prefer Bloom for it’s colours, they suit my personality bold and bright.
Bloom and Nora is inspired by the daredevil feminist Amelia Bloomer who once said, “When you find a burden in belief or apparel, cast it off”
Disposable pads put a lot of burden on our environment and health, I think it is time we cast it off too. What do you think??