Eco Femme team member Laura, shares how she came to make the switch.
Thinking back to the first time I learned of my fate as a female makes me laugh. I must have been around 10 or 11 and my mother told me that soon I would start bleeding every month and would continue to do so for the next 3 or 4 decades. I very seriously told her that, ‘no, I don’t want to do that’ as if I had a choice in the matter!
I didn’t learn much else, there was one brief session at school aged around 12-13 where we looked at the products on offer (all disposables) and when I got my period shortly before my 14th birthday, my mother handed me a pack of bulky disposable pads and to my embarrassment, informed me that I was a woman now.
I didn’t think much of my periods over the next 10 years or so. I managed them, tried out pads, tampons etc but was not aware of reusable alternatives. I didn’t even think of looking for them since I had no idea that such products existed.
The catalyst for me was becoming pregnant aged 24. I had heard of cloth nappies and planned to use them on my baby as I couldn’t bare the thought of leaving bags and bags of used disposable nappies outside my house each week for the refuse collectors. It was a common sight in my town in the UK and one that I didn’t want to add to.
My son arrived just after my 25th birthday and after initially using a few biodegradable disposable nappies for the first uncertain weeks, we made the switch to cloth. I loved how great it made me feel to use them, how pretty the fabrics were, how easy it was to get into a routine with washing and drying and how much money we were saving.
I suddenly though ‘what about me?’. I did some research and discovered to my surprise that there were many different cloth pads and cups available. I decided against cloth pads initially, simply because I would need to order them before seeing them up close and chose instead to purchase a Mooncup since it was available in a mainstream high street shop so I could take a look at it before buying. The initial cost put me off a little (nearly 25 pounds or RS 2500) but I reasoned that if I wouldn’t need to spend any more money on menstrual products then it would be worth it.
I was shocked at how easy it was to use and how much cleaner and positive I felt during my periods. I felt more connected to my cycle, I could see the amount of blood collected in the cup and found it to be surprisingly little. A few years later I moved to Auroville and discovered Eco Femme pantyliners which work perfectly with the cup as a back up against those occasional leaks and to my delight, joined the team a few months later.
The two best things about making the switch for me is the pride in contributing no menstrual waste to the planet and learning more about my body, it’s cycles and discovering how to embrace this monthly occurrence in a more accepting and compassionate way.
I love that it links me to all other women on the planet.