When I first got my period I was confronted with a plethora of products I had never heard of before. Oh the choice. Tampons, pads, maxi, ultra, lite, super plus. It was a heady wave of new concepts to get my brain around. However, now looking back, I realise my choice was limited.
The major uniting factor, apart from the obvious usage purpose, was that all these products were disposables. I wasn’t even aware that there were menstrual products like cups and pads that I could reuse, despite them having been around for years - they could have saved me money as well as the environment. But this was the 1990s, where throw-away culture was soaring, consumerism peaked and we all just wanted more and more stuff.
So years later, when I started a menstrual product subscription service, I wanted to make these harder-to-buy period products and reusables more accessible. It was clear from the start that nearly all our sales were disposable products. But the more we sold the more we became aware of the enormous waste that they created. At the other end of the spectrum, no one was really buying the reusables.
We investigated more and discovered that, increasingly, women were concerned about the sustainability of their period products but very few were making the switch to reusables. Why is this? For one thing, it is because habits are ingrained in us all, and many women were not ready or able to make the leap to menstrual cups or cloth pads. Millions of women like and need plastic tampon applicators, but don't like the single-use plastic waste that comes with them.
So ultimately we felt it was about choice. Choice is liberating. But in some situations, we shouldn’t have to choose. This is particularly true for the people we support through our Bloody Good Period donation boxes. They have to choose where to spend their limited resources. When deciding what to buy each month, menstrual products should not be in the balance.
For £5 (plus P&P) people can purchase a donation box through our site which gives disposable products to Bloody Good Period to distribute. And yes, these are disposable products. We have been providing these for nearly a year now and we feel strongly that these people, who are coming from traumatic circumstances should have access to menstrual products without question and, even better, have the products they feel comfortable with.
If women don't feel comfortable using the reusable options currently available (which are great by the way) then we want to offer them another option. We don't want them to compromise on their sustainable lifestyle for a utility product they have to use every month. This is why we developed D. We feel that D, our reusable tampon applicator, and our DAME organic tampons meet these needs
We have just one day to go before our Kickstarter campaign closes and we have already smashed our target by 230% (and counting), trended on Twitter, and have even been written up in Mintel, the industry trends reporting body, as a "welcome addition". The global reception we are receiving for D is both staggering and amazing, and it’s great women around the world have given it their approval. The more we can make our Kickstarter campaign a success the more we can move reusable products like D into the mainstream.