We bleed … it’s not a secret and if it is still a taboo for some, I can only say, it isn’t taboo here 🙂
Periods are one of the most natural things in the world but maybe not the funniest. But if you take a closer look, the self-regulation and cleansing of the body is really just fantastic and impressive.
Sustainable Period Products
Since women cannot avoid it, in a world with a sea full of plastic rubbish it is important not to produce any – or as little rubbish as possible – during the time of the month too. The environment is already polluted enough – so why not use products that are sustainable, reusable and of high quality instead? At the same time, the products we use of course have to make us feel comfortable and good during our bloody times as well.
In this post you will therefore find a large selection of really great sustainable alternatives that make life easier and help to protect the environment. If you know a product that isn’t shown here, please write a comment under this article, because this way we can all benefit from it.
But lets start with the easiest way: using no products at all
Have you ever heard of “free bleeding”? True to: “just let it flow” you can choose not to hide your period. Some rejoices have already been in the headlines, such as Kiran Gandhi, who ended her marathon with free bleeding. Here are links to an interview and a video of her – I find her story very interesting and inspiring.
With free bleeding, however, all of your blood does not have to land in your pants, because after a little practice, it should be possible to hold back the blood through muscle tension and feeling for when you need to let it out in the restroom.
If you would like to try this method but you are still unsure and inexperienced, the next product, Period Panties, could be helpful for you.
Period panties are a combination of sanitary pads/panty liners and underwear, which makes them practical, unobtrusive and reusable. As can be seen in the picture, absorbent layers are worked into the panties. They are available in different designs, fits and for different flows. Thanks to various technologies such as silver threads, there is no unpleasant smell, which makes them really suitable for everyday use.
There is of course a wide variety of suppliers for period panties, which is why I would like to introduce you to two which I highly recommend.
The companies Erdbeerwoche and Kora Mikino have different models of period underwear on offer. They differ in packaging and the technology used, but they are both vegan(produced without animal testing and are sustainable in the sense of reusability). Unfortunately, all products also contain polyester or elastane, which is not sustainable, but apparently is still unavoidable at the moment.
My absolute favourite is the underwear by Kora Mikino because they are produced in Germany from the sustainable tree material Tencel in a climate-neutral manner. Kora Mikino have a large selection and are very comfortable to wear. In addition, Kora Mikino shows her underwear on models of different body sizes and shapes what I personally really like. Since Kora Mikino is, because of all of this, a true green business, you can find more about the founders career in our green business interview with her itself, Julia Rittereiser.
Erdbeerwoche does not have a large selection of different slip models, but offers extensive advice and a selection of other sustainable menstrual products such as menstrual cups, panty liners and organic tampons. Definitely worth a visit!
Sanitary towels, panty liners and Co.
Textile sanitary towels and panty liners
Sanitary towels are also washable, and are therefore reusable, and mostly made exclusively from sustainable materials such as organic cotton. Some of the sanitary towels and panty liners have to get folded and placed in the panties. Others have a Velcro fastener (unfortunately made of plastic) or a push button to be attached around the panties.
It’s a matter of taste which thickness or type you like, but I personally really liked the foldable pads from Kulmine because they are simple and simply good. Kulmine has a very large selection and a lot of advice on sustainable products available on their website. They produce under a sustainable philosophy in Germany and the Czech Republic.
The selection ranges from thin panty liners, with or without a push button, to very absorbent pads, which are well suited for different purposes and heavy flows.
Kulmine also has very nice period calendars, as well as menstrual cups and sponges, which we will come back to later.
Another company, that produces exclusively with biological cotton and informs people is Wollke.
We already did a Green Business Interview with the founder Sabine Fallmanm-Hauser and I highly appreciate the philosophy of her company.
The pantiliners are produced in Austria by women for women under fair conditions and are very pretty and personal, due to the various designs. It is a shame, however, that a Velcro fastener made of plastic is sewn on them, which of course means that the silage pads themselves are not as sustainable as they possibly could be.
Sticky Sanitary towels and panty liners
Because of the “stickiness”, they may not be quite as sustainable as the alternatives, but they are very practical and reliable, especially if you travel a lot.
My absolute favorite brand for this is Einhorn – maybe you’ve already heard of them? They have both sustainable menstrual items and contraceptives on offer, packaged in a super fun and appealing designs. Their philosophy is exemplary, which is also shown by the fact that they not only use organic cotton as the basis for the insoles, but also pack them in biodegradable plastic made from corn.
An alternative to Einhorn would be the Organyc products, which are also available in the drugstore and at Erdbeerwoche. However, I don’t know whether the packaging is also biodegradable or not. Since this was difficult for me to get answer for, I assume that its not biodegradable.
Cups in various sizes and shapes – that’s the new trend. They are reusable but made of silicone. If you have never tried a cup before, I would really recommend trying it. They look more uncomfortable than they actually are and really last for months.
The only downside is that they’re not that easy to clean when you’re on the go. My highlight here is the Papperla Cup by Einhorn, because it is available in different sizes and colours and when it comes to sustainability, attention has also been paid to the details. At Einhorn, all plastic is biodegradable, including the see-through window on the packaging. In addition, Einhorn has a wonderfully illustrated user manual, which makes it even better to use this “flying bottom cup”.
Tampons & Sponges
Sponges are a true natural product and therefore wonderfully sustainable. They are available from Kulminein different sizes and as a set, and are truly an experience in use. The sponges are a great alternative to e.g. tampons and very hygienic as they can be easily boiled like menstrual cups. I would definitely recommend to try one of them!
So, there is really a large selection of great products to make your own period as sustainable as possible and to avoid contributing to pollution. In addition, all of these companies support social purposes, from fair production conditions to information and education for young girls and women.
How sustainable can you make your period?
The most sustainable way would be to do without products as much as possible, to reuse for a long time and and to produce as little waste as possible.
No waste is created if you use for example, a sponge. In combination with a bio cotton panty liner or period panties, this combination would be really very practical, reusable for a long time and can be used without further packaging and polluting.
If you are on the go and just want to be prepared for all cases, you can use individually wrapped pads or tampons. With that, there will be some waste, but with the products described above, the waste is biodegradable and therefore not a problem.
So, how does your sustainable period like look like
Will you try the free bleeding? If you know a product or another alternative which I haven’t mentioned here yet, it would be amazing if you could write a comment with your tips and experiences. We all benefit from this and ensure less pollution and a positive mindset for our future!