Bright red is the colour of my bindi. And the colour of my menstrual blood.
I grew up at a time when buying pads was so taboo that I would point to the brand I wanted. I brought my pads home in a newspaper bag, and imagined everyone who saw me along the way “knew” what I was carrying.
Then I grew up more and went to work, at a company that created disposable sanitary napkins. I was posted in Jalandhar as a Management Trainee, and went to work as one of the few Women sales reps in those parts. I knocked on nearly 30 retailers doors every day and sold the different brands of feminine hygiene products we had, even helping out their consumer with the brand they should choose to buy.
We heralded the arrival of the “thin” sanitary napkin with great fanfare. I tried using it and found it revolutionary: it was thinner and more discreet compared to a regular sanitary napkin and extremely compact workhorse that absorbed a huge amount of menstrual fluid.
The future was here: or so I thought.
When we became parents, and actually saw our future in front of us, all toothless, soft, plump cheeked and trusting, we started out looking for environmental and human friendly alternatives to all the products we were gifted to use on her.
We started by choosing to cloth diaper. The transition was painful. It was sometimes messy, sometimes inconvenient. And it meant that we had to face our fears: a ginourmous amount of poop and pee that we could see. That we had to deal with. That we couldn’t bundle away and hope someone else would take care of it.
And we started to see it work. We didn’t have to rush for an emergency pharmacy trip. Our daughter got very few rashes. And most importantly, we were not creating a landfill problem, but were dealing with our waste ourselves.
You can read more about the environmental problems of disposable diapers here and explore reusable options here.
Starting with one reusable led to an exploration of many more reusables.
The reusable we are going to be focussing on this week is the reusable sanitary pad. I am going to be blogging in greater depth about the massive environmental problems associated with disposable sanitary napkins, the several possible issues on your health and safety, the massive carbon footprint of a disposable which is almost entirely derived from fossil fuel, and the options you have in the form of reusable sanitary pads.
Menstrual cups are also a great option which is popular across the world and is slowly growing in India as well: but as I am not a user, I am going to be focussing on exploring the world of reusable cloth pads.
This series will also see me introducing 3 amazing companies and their teams who are hard at work manufacturing reusable cloth pads in India. Their stories and the work they do are inspiring, and having tried most of their products, I can vouch for the quality of their pads as well.
Maintaining and caring for a reusable is something that is on top of everyone’s priority before they decide to adopt one into their lives. So this series will have us publish an eBook on reusable cloth pads, and how they need to be laundered. As with cloth diapers, cloth pads are intimates and should be laundered only with an extremely gentle, natural option, which makes the Krya detergent an ideal companion to your cloth pads. Our guide will focus on how you can use the Krya detergent to launder your cloth pads. But, in case you have a different brand of detergent, and you would like some help on modifying this care routine for your brand, please do write to me and I will be happy to help you make this important transition.
I end this post, with a beautiful video by Menstrupedia. Menstrupedia is a home grown user resource with fantastic comic style guides and reliable information, designed to provide young girls and women with safe, reliable information on feminine hygiene.
This is a video created by them to encourage a healthy dialogue around Menstruation and bring it out in the open.
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Happy thursday to you!