As part of our Period Poverty campaign this year, myself and Tamsin have each trialled a reusable period product alternative to disposable pads and tampons to give an open and honest account of our experiences. I wanted to try the reusable pads as I thought that they would be a good alternative for me personally. During this trial I used pads from two different companies. Firstly, InfinityEco (below on the left) which was £14.99 for six of the same sized pads and then, Bloom and Nora (below on the right) who have varying prices based on how many you buy. Bloom and Nora, come in five sizes and offer two different types of materials.
So reusable pads come in all sorts of shapes and sizes to help suit your flow and your body which is better than the one-size-doesn't-fit-all disposables. When I opened my reusable pads I was quite surprised at how soft they were. They were also really thick in comparison to my usual pads and I wasn’t sure whether these would be the right thing for me as I don’t have the heaviest of flows and they seemed rather bulky. However, I specifically chose the leopard print ones as I like the funkiness of them and this didn’t disappoint.
I started the first day of my cycle with the InfinityEco product. I must admit that I was a bit worried and didn’t feel confident that they would work very well. They did feel very different at first and took a bit of getting used to. Although they felt quite bulky, I thought they were much more comfortable than my usual disposable ones that I normally use. I was also concerned that it wouldn’t hold in place but I am pleased to say there was nothing to worry about and the pad held in place very well as it had small poppers to help keep them in place. I found that overnight as well this product worked well. I was really pleased and will definitely convert to using these from now onwards
I trialled a Nora Lady Garden reusable pad towards the end of my cycle. This one was the second to smallest size that they provide and was much smaller than the InfinityEco ones that I tried, I also had my doubt about these staying in place as the poppers were smaller than the Infinityeco ones. The smaller size meant I wasn’t 100% comfortable using them at the start of my cycle but I found that this actually worked better for me nearing the end of my cycle. I did find that they moved around more than the Infinityeco ones.
Something that I did worry about was the washing aspect of reusable pads, but it was a simple process. When you were done with the pad you were using, you would give it a quick rinsing beforehand under a cold tap until the water runs clear then just pop it in with your normal washing. It really was that simple, rinse and wash. I used a washing bag so I could keep them altogether but you can just pop them in with the rest of your washing. It’s recommended to wash the reusable pads on a low temperature, 30 degrees, which will help them last for longer and then air dry them instead of using the tumble dryer. According to both companies they should last up to ten years, which is great considering the price.
Comparing disposable to the InfinityEco Products price-wise, I think you get a lot more bang for your buck. Let’s say you would need 12 pads for your full cycle, this would cost £29.98 and although this is a lot up front, for a short term outlay it is much cheaper in the long run than using let’s say, a pack of ‘Always’ pads each month which over ten years would cost around £114.
I personally preferred the InfinityEco products. They worked really well for me but that's down to my own personal preference. I would definitly recommend that you get a few different products from different places to try and find what's right for you. I’m definitely not returning to my plastic disposable pads anytime soon. There are so many easy sustainable swaps out there and if you’re not keen on the idea of a cup, I would definitely recommend switching to reusable pads. Changed my period.
-Tash Neal, VP Education and Welfare.