From an article in The Telegraph:
I’m holding a soft piece of fleecy fabric, mottled dark purple with poppers at the bottom.
"This is the minky,” says Heather Finlay. “You can see how soft it is.”
She’s right. It’s so comforting and tactile I want to rub it against my face. But actually, it’s for the other end of my body.
Welcome to the world of the cloth sanitary pad – or CSP. Cloth pads, as the name suggests, are manufactured from natural, absorbent fabrics such as cotton and bamboo. More significantly, they are washable - and therefore reusable.
Most are brightly patterned, to keep staining to a minimum. Once worn, they are simply rinsed in cold water, and then popped in the wash ready for next time...
Caring for young children removes any squeamishness around bodily functions. Having dealt with the torrent of poo, wee and vomit that is a new born, a bit of menstrual blood doesn’t seem so bad.
And the perks are numerous. The environmental benefits speak for themselves - then there’s the cost. No tampon tax for starters. “Surveys estimate that menstruating costs women around £18,000 over their lifetime,” says Finlay. “Switching to reusables you can save around £8,400”.More at the link. There is a separate Telegraph article for those interested in Mooncups.
A tip of the blogging hat to reader -T, who offered this comment:
One of my girlfriends and her aunt make these for girls in developing countries that have to miss school due to their periods. Here is the site to do this if anyone is interested.From -T's link:
Lack of access to menstrual products affects millions of girls in the developing world. As many as 10% of school-aged girls miss school because of it. The effect of these missed days is devastating, with girls missing up to 20% of their education, thereby increasing the likelihood of dropping out, earlier marriage and pregnancy as well as limiting career options.Also see the other relevant comments in the section below.
The solution is simple: provide school girls with washable menstrual pads and underwear that will last for years. Providing reusable products means the burden of purchasing products each month is removed and the environmental devastation that hundreds of thousands of disposable pads would have on the landscape is alleviated. The case for girl's education is well documented as one of the most important tools for development. We believe that no one should have to miss out on opportunities that will affect their future, simply because they have a period.
Since its inception, in partnership with dozens of groups, individuals, and NGOs, Lunapads has helped provide over 14,000 girls and women in 17 nations with over 85,000 menstrual pads and/or menstrual underwear, giving them an immediate, essential and sustainable means to remain in school or at work.