Sunday, 31 October 2021

Trade to Aid - Reusable Sanitary Pads

Trade To Aid Reusable Sanitary Pads

A couple of weeks ago Trade To Aid got in touch and asked if I would be up for reviewing their reusable sanitary pads. As a not-for-profit social business, Trade To Aid put all their profits into funding emergency sanitary kits for refugees and running menstrual health programmes. Ending period poverty is a cause close to my heart, so it was a very easy choice to make and go ahead with the review!

Research by the AHPMA (Absorbent Hygiene Product Manufacturers' Association) suggests that the average woman in the UK can 'look forward to' around 38 years worth of periods. AKA 500 periods. Each one of those will, on average, require the use of 22 disposable sanitary products. Which means that by the day Mother Nature decides you have served your time, Annie Average will have put some 11,000 sanitary products in the bin.

That is a lot of rubbish - and a lot of money. The charity Bloody Good Period reckon the average woman in the UK will sink about £5,000 into period management over her lifetime, to pay for sanitary protection, painkillers, and new underwear to replace that lost to those little accidents.

So, long story short, I've been thinking about making the switch from disposables to reusables for a few years now. For me the main stumbling block has been that kind of visceral reaction of 'I'm a modern woman, why should I have to go backwards to my great grandmother's day?' Ever since I began menstruating at 11 the older women in my life told me how lucky I was. I didn't have to wear a brick like wedge of a pad attached to a belt. I didn't have to boil up a pile of bloody rags each month to reuse again next time.

In other words, I was so free and liberated I could spend the whole time roller blading in white short shorts if I chose to, and getting rid of the results was somebody else's problem.

Except that wasn't the whole truth. Even if I got my hands on some painkillers strong enough to mask the agony - thankfully numbed a little today, who knew there was an upside to ceseraean section nerve damage? - I most certainly wasn't going to be flouncing about in shorties. I never got on with tampons, and my periods have always been heavy enough to make leaking a real issue.

Trade to Aid Sanitary Protection

So where the eco credentials and the cost couldn't quite sway me, laudable reasons though they were, the deciding factor was ultimately the prospect of better protection. Reusable towels come in a range of sizes and absorbencies, as you might expect, they also fasten much more securely than the supposedly adhesive strips of disposables. I was seriously amazed at how much of a difference this made, not just to protection but also to how comfortable they were to wear.

Soaking and washing the pads was more hassle than just putting it in the bin, there's no denying it, but the increased comfort was worth it. Everything else - the financial savings, the waste reduction - was just the icing on the cake. And then, on top of that, there was the cherry of knowing that for every pack of reusables Trade to Aid sends out, they give a free pack to someone in need in a refugee camp.

If you fancy making the switch yourself, you can get the Trade To Aid starter box for £29.95.

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