Tree Hugger cloth pads are my favorite reusable pads!
If you don’t already know why you should switch to cloth pads. I’ll let you in on the secret!
1. You will reduce your menstrual cramps, infections and skin rashes.
If you suffer intense pain during your period and are using disposables, consider using alternatives like cloth pads, 100% organic cotton products or menstrual cups. Disposable pads also use plastics, which block airflow to your vagina, and not surprisingly, can encourage a painful rash. Disposables also use synthetic fibers like rayon, which are super-absorbent, but will also absorb all the moisture in your vagina, increasing your chances of severe pain and infections — especially if you are wearing one for hours, all day, all week. Once I switched to reusable cloth pads, my own severe cramping was reduced to nil — a real menstrual miracle.
2. Reusable options are much healthier for you.
Disposables are typically made with a combination of plastics, cotton, synthetic fibers and wood pulp. Conventionally produced cotton is one of the most toxic crops grown, using 20 percent of the world’s pesticides and herbicides. These materials are then bleached with chlorine dioxide, creating polluting, harmful and bio-accumulative byproducts like dioxin, which not only end up in the environment, but also remain in our bodies for decades. Add other synthetic chemicals and artificial fragrances to the mix, and you’ve got a recipe for side effects like allergic reactions, hormone disruption, reproductive and gynecological disorders like endometriosis.
3. You will save loads of money.
If the health reasons don’t sway you, maybe the numbers will be more convincing. Granted, reusables have a larger initial cost, but they last much, much longer. With proper care, cloth pads can last for years (my own cloth napkins are six years old and are still going strong). Compare this to the disposable that has a lifespan of a few hours before it’s thrown away, forcing you to buy more and more — all of them ending up in a landfill.
You can do the math: assuming a woman menstruates for 40 years, buys a $8 pack of disposables every other month, it eventually adds up to $1,920 over her lifetime. If she’s using a pack a month, that’s $3,840. A half-dozen set of reusables for the same period, at an estimated cost of $80, replaced every five years, total only $640. Opt for a $40 silicone menstrual cup, and you save even more.
4. You will help save the environment.
Switching to reusables is a striking example of how seemingly small personal choices can have a tremendous positive impact on our environment. It’s estimated that nearly 20 billion (billion!) pads and tampons are discarded each year in North America alone. The plastics in a pad will take hundreds of years to decompose. The process of manufacturing these disposables also pollutes our waterways, air and animal habitats. Switching to reusables can make a difference.
5. You will support independent companies and artisanal makers.
If you are already leery of handing your money over to big, faceless corporations that probably don’t have your best interests in mind, check out the companies that specialize in providing safe and healthier alternatives.
6. It’s sanitary, doesn’t leak and easier to clean than you think.
When talking about reusable options, one is inevitably faced with the questions: “is it clean?” and “will it leak?” Many cloth pads use a removable liner for extra absorption, and many have a waterproof lining sewn inside. It may be a tad bulkier, but occasional bulk is infinitely better than a lifetime of health problems. With the right maintenance, reusable products are just as sanitary. For cloth pads, most recommend soaking them overnight in water (you can add hydrogen peroxide or tea tree oil to sanitize further) and toss them in the wash for a hot water cycle. For menstrual cups, it’s even easier.
7. Heck, it’s pretty. And empowering.
Forget those boring, bleached white synthetic products — reusable options are bursting with color, patterns, unique designs — personality. I don’t know what the background science may be, but surely bright colors can help alleviate any premenstrual syndrome-related moodiness.
We would also do well to remember that non-disposables are nothing new; women have been using sea sponges and rags forever. The “culture of concealment” surrounding menstruation has influenced women to feel ashamed about their bodies, and this imposed shame makes us docile, unquestioning consumers of products that are neither good for us, nor the environment.
So while we might not have the space to discuss the gender politics behind the modern menstrual industry (making us perceive a natural process as “filthy”), it ultimately comes down to the fact that it is about our bodies, our minds — and our choices to make.
With All said, let me tell you a little bit about the people behind my favorite cloth pad brand, Tree Hugger Cloth Pads! They are an amazing family from Canada, and they plant a tree for every pad purchased. Isn’t that freaking awesome?
Tree Hugger Cloth Pads is owned by Crystal Burton, a motivated work-at-home Mom of two, who is passionate about both saving the environment and saving money. Crystal and her husband Scott first discovered the benefits of cloth products in 2004 when their daughter was born and they decided to use cloth diapers. It was not only saving them a lot of money but it also felt great knowing that they were not contributing thousands of diapers to the landfills.
Not long after giving birth to their second child in 2007, Crystal looked up alternatives to disposable pads and found cloth menstrual pads. Such a simple idea that had been around forever yet somehow had been forgotten. After having to wear disposable pads for many weeks after giving birth, she was desperate for something more comfortable. She started off with 3 flannel topped cloth pads and from that moment on never looked back. No more skin irritations, rashes or itchiness. To her surprise, it was also no harder to wash them than doing any other household laundry. There is no smell like with disposable pads so washing them really is as easy as tossing in the washer and the dryer. Anyone can do it! Please read the FAQ’s for more reasons to switch.
After trying many designs of cloth pads, Crystal was led to design her own pattern based on the features most important to her including the most soft luxurious fabrics. The result was a high quality, very comfortable pad in 4 different sizes/absorbencies that comes in hundreds of fun colors and prints.
In December 2012, Crystal decided to make an even bigger positive impact on our environment by not only saving thousands of pads from the landfills (each cloth pad replaces approximately 200 disposable pads) but also started planting a tree for every pantyliner and pad sold. Partnering with WeForest, Tree Hugger Cloth Pads customers are now making an even larger decrease to their carbon footprint. Thousands of trees are planted each year!
In 2013, Scott joined the Tree Hugger Cloth Pads company to make it a truly family-run business. Crystal still handles all customer service, answering emails/questions, inventory as well as all of the shipping of orders while Scott handles the shipping/receiving of fabric and supplies, applying all of the snaps to pads, back-end website work and the accounting.
Tree Hugger Cloth Pads is now proud to employ many work-at-home individuals. Each and every pad is handmade by one of our fabulous seamstresses. They all work from their own homes (no daily commute) and set their own hours. Some work only a few hours a week and some work many depending on their family’s needs/commitments. Our bamboo is also dyed by work-at-home entrepreneurs. Scott and Crystal even work from their home! Work/life balance is VERY important to us and we also feel it is important to do what you love and love what you do.
“Our mission is simple: to provide the highest quality pads with the best customer service. We take great pride in our company, our commitment to customer service and in the products we sell.” Crystal – Owner
Tree Hugger Cloth Pads was “born” in 2008 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
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Word source: treehugger.com