The growing #menstruationmatters movement is highlighting, on a global scale, the importance of access to sanitary wear for women and the de-stigmatisation, across cultures, of this biological necessity. However, there is also a big trend in finding a sustainable solution for all women, not only for those with limited means, or access to sanitary wear. KwaZulu-Natal-based organisation, Subz Pants and Pads, manufactures washable, reusable sanitary pads with several associated benefits. Here are 10 reasons why women should consider using this product.
1. Environmental Impact
On average, a woman will use anywhere between 12 000 and 16 000 disposable sanitary pads, panty-liners or tampons in a lifetime which results in an abundance of unnecessary waste sitting in the ground or floating in rivers and oceans. Statistics show that it can take 500 to 800 years for one sanitary pad to decompose. In addition to this heavy load on the earth are the environmental costs linked to the manufacturing, packaging and transporting of these items – all of which can be mitigated by using washable, reusable sanitary pads which can last three to five years.
2. Cost Savings
There are, undeniably, big cost savings when it comes to using washable, reusable sanitary pads over disposable sanitary pads. As an example, one Subz washable, reusable sanitary pad – which clips onto itself, fitting around any panty – retails at R29.95 per item at Clicks stores. A user would need to purchase at least 6 pads to assist them through their menstrual cycle. The total cost for six Subz washable, reusable sanitary pads will cost in the region of R180 and the pads will last the user 5 years which equates to R36 per year as opposed to a minimum of R40 per month to cover the cost of a period using disposables. This is a saving of R1 980 over five years.
3. Health benefits
Washable, reusable sanitary pads contain no chemicals or gels and are completely allergy and cancer-toxin free. The pads are made from specialised hydrophilic and hydrophobic fabrics which keep the user both dry and confident.
With proper care washable, reusable sanitary pads can last anything from three to five years. One woman would need to invest approximately R180 to R270 or six to nine Subz washable, reusable sanitary pads to meet the needs of one menstruation cycle, thereafter no monthly purchases would need to be made!
5. You won’t be left in the lurch
Often the monthly cycle sneaks up on a woman and, as luck would have it, there are no sanitary products to be found anywhere in the house. Owning washable, reusable sanitary pads means that there are always sanitary pads available, so there’s no chance of being caught off guard.
6. Period positivity
One of the biggest aims of the #menstruationmatters movement is the idea of ‘period positivity’. Often there is a stigma attached to the ‘dirtiness’ of a period, but the use of washable, reusable sanitary pads brings about a positive connection with the monthly cycle. The pad isn’t something that must be discarded, but rather something that needs to be cared for and put away for next month.
7. Easy to wash
One of the biggest concerns when people look to reusable sanitary pads is the cleaning of the item. But the realisation about how easy it is to wash reusable sanitary pads will convert any first-time user. Simply rinse the sanitary pads and then put in a wash bag and then into a washing machine. Just use a mild detergent and hang out to dry.
8. Enhanced comfort
The Subz washable, reusable sanitary pad either comes as an individual self-clipping pad, which clips around the users own panty or can be purchased in a pack with 100% cotton panties that the pad clips directly onto. The main advantage of clipping onto or around the panty means that the pad will remain in place. Unlike with most disposable sanitary pads, the panty does not get caught up in adhesive, so there is no uncomfortable bunching and twisting resulting in less chance of leakages.
9. SABS Absorbency
The Subz washable, reusable sanitary pad has a SABS Absorbency rating, putting it on par with disposable sanitary pads. As long as they are placed correctly and changed as frequently as one would change a disposable sanitary pad (three to six hours depending on flow), then there is limited chance of leaking.
10. Aesthetically appealing
Connected to the ‘period positivity’ is the aesthetic appeal of Subz washable, reusable sanitary pads. We choose to wear nice underwear because it makes us feel good – so why should sanitary wear be any different? Subz pads are designed with a black underside and a range of colourful options for the remaining side.
Subz washable, reusable self-clipping sanitary pads are available at select Click stores under The Girls on the Go packaging or online at www.subzpads.co.za. Donations of Subz Pants and Pads can also be made to help keep girls in school in disadvantaged and rural communities through Project Dignity. Visit the website www.projectdignity.org.za for more information about the work being done to help uplift and empower South African girls.