Pads for Sisters
Eco Femme is committed to ensuring that every woman in India is able to access our cloth washable pads. Recognising that cost can be an obstacle for adolescent girls who generally lack purchasing power, we are able to meet this commitment through Pad For Pad.
In October 2013, we launched Pads for Sisters in order to make cloth pads accessible to economically disadvantaged women (over 19 years old) who would not otherwise be able to afford or access the pads at commercial pricing.
This video explains how this programme works >>>
Under this programme, we provide cloth pads in bulk at a subsidised price which reflects willingness of Women Self Help Group members to pay (based on research and market trials). Alternatively for organizations or clubs interesting in sponsoring cloth pads for women who otherwise could not afford the products, we offer bulk rate discounts. If you are interested in sourcing cloth pads for women and/or girls who cannot afford commercial rates, please fill out this screening form in order to help us best understand how to meet your requirements.
After rigorous product testing in 2011 with over 850 women and girls in rural India, we launched a product range which has found acceptance and appeal among a wide range of women from economically disadvantaged backgrounds:
All these products are made with GOTS certified organic cotton, come in attractive colors with pretty floral backing and are soft, feminine and comfortable. Though the colour and patterns differ from the range of premium products, we use the same quality materials, cotton flannel and a PUL leakproof layer, for all our products so that every girl and woman can experience a dignified and comfortable period.
*Fabric colours and prints may differ from what is shown in the images below.
This product is the same size as our Day Pad Plus pad making it practical for women with moderate flow for using it both day and night. The pad has 7 absorbent layers of flannel to catch the menstrual flow and has wings which fasten around the underwear and a leakproof layer made of PUL. Younger women in particular like this model as it is contemporary and looks like a modern disposable sanitary napkin.
Size: 26cm length x 7.5cm width
This model is popular among women who already use cloth, as it is adapted from the traditional practice of folding old cloth. It features a double layer of absorbent flannel, which can be folded twice to provide the padding equivalent to 8 layers of fabric. The central spine of the pad is leakproofed with PUL and it attaches to the underwear with wings. It sun dries quickly and is inconspicuous on a clothesline – a factor which is important to many women.
Size: 26cm length x 8.5cm width
Our belt model is uniquely designed for women who do not wear underwear. The string secures the pad around the waist. This model has a removable insert which folds and is secured into a PUL leak proofed holder. Like the foldable model, the absorbent cotton flannel insert is discreet on a clothes line and dries quickly – it provides the equivalent of 8 layers of padding to catch flow.
Size: (of absorbent part of pad) 30cm and width 8cm.
We also highly recommend purchasing travel pouches for safe storage of pads when travelling, or going to work or school. The pouch is also the ideal way to store clean pads in between cycles. Our beautiful drawstring pouches are made of leakproof material and will keep your pads free of dust and dirt.
Make-your-own cloth pad
Make-your-own pads are cost saving compared to buying finished pads. Includes precut materials for All In One style pad (including the PUL leakproof layer), complete sewing kit (including needle, thread and stitch on press button) and stitching & care instructions.
Size: 26cm length x 7.5cm width when stitched
Benefits Of Washable Cloth Pads
- Long-term financial savings
- Improved personal health and cleaner local environment
- Potential income generation for women if an organisation would like to encourage women to distribute or retail the pads in their communities
Producing Eco Femme pads
We are often asked if we can provide training to start a cloth pad production unit to provide livelihood for rural women in other areas. You can read our response here.
Our Progress At A Glance
The Pads for Sisters programme is steadily growing in it’s capacity to provide affordable access to cloth pads for economically disadvantaged women and girls. Our capacity to provide an increasing number of subsidised and cost price pads is directly related to the growth of our commercial operations.
|Total number of pads||1,993||1,310||13,335||7,700||19,020||31,932||25,592||32,000|
|# pads sold at subsidised price||–||–||–||–||12,373||12,950||15,219||20,000|
|# pads sold at cost price||–||–||–||–||6,647||18,979||10,376||12,000|
We welcome donations to help us supplement the cost of pads so as to make them affordable. To learn more about how your donations can help us reach more women with subsidised pads click here.
You can make donations by following the instructions below and clicking ‘Donate Now’.
1. Specify in the beneficiary field ¨Eco Femme – Pads for Sisters”
2. You can give 2 Lakhs INR, 2000 USD and 1000 Euro as max amounts per one transfer per day
3. Contact us directly for large donations within India, which might be eligible for Income Tax deduction under sec. 80G
For more information on making a donation, and to return completed request forms, please write to [email protected]
Education and Impact Assessement
We have found from experience that menstrual health education goes hand in hand with cloth pad promotion – the uptake of cloth pads and proper care which is necessary to ensure health, is enhanced when combined with a educational session on menstrual health. We have developed flexible modules for conducting introductory sessions to women on menstrual health along with some tools and resources to assist in program delivery.
We also take evaluation very seriously in order to measure the impact of our educational programs and understand the factors influencing successful cloth pad adoption. Reach out to us if you would like to learn more by writing to [email protected]
To read more about women’s experiences after switching to cloth pads, click on the links given below:
A HUGE thank you to the following organisations partnering with us – we couldn’t do this without you!
- Kalsang Dolma, Auroville
- Pema Lhamo, Ladakh
- Dr. Abirami Prakash, Kerela
- Paripooranam, Thiruvanamalai