Here's How I Switched To Cloth Pads, tips and advice to help you make the transition.
Transitioning to cloth pads was not an easy feat for me, mostly because I have very heavy periods and I was a little chicken to try them. It’s been the hardest eco transition for me to make! BUT I did it!
Why switch to cloth pads?
Given the fact that 1) disposable sanitary pads are toxic! The materials used to manufacture most pads are derived from the petroleum industry and forestry. The absorbent core, made from chlorine-bleached wood pulp, could be reduced to make slimmer products with the addition of polyacrylate gels which sucks up the liquid quickly and holds it in a suspension under pressure!
And 2) I was sending about 72 - 80 pads to landfill a year, plus all the plastic packaging these pads come in! And to make matters worse these pads don’t decompose they sit in landfills adding to more waste that the planet does not need!
So I decided to switch to cloth pads, knowing it's a great choice for me and the planet.
In the process, I realized that it might be hard for some ladies to make the switch all at once (it was of me) so I’ve come up with some tips to help you if you are considering making the switch!
There is no reason to rush. I suggest trying out a few brands first to find what works for you. I’ve tried a bunch and love OKO Creations (more on them a little later). Once you find a brand that you love, slowly start to switch out the ones you are using now with cloth pads. I started with panty liners, that I used at the end of my period when I had a lighter flow. This also helped me pick the right size for my flow. The fabric plays a role too, do your research. I suggest reaching out to the brands you are considering and asking them how the different types of fabric absorb the different flow.
You’ll need to get used to washing your pads. But honestly, this was not that hard. I got rid of paper towel in my home about 18 years ago (for reusable ones) and have never looked back
It’s really about changing your mind set and creating new habits. You can do ti!
Once I got the hang of this new routine I decided to try the overnight pads which were a successful transition for me as well. It’s a good rule of thumb to have a selection of sizes on hand all the time. I have five panty liners in a selection of sizes and shapes (for different underwear) and I have seven overnight pads. The bottom line, find what works for you.
Yes, they are more expensive up front, but you actually end up saving way more money in the long run. If you don’t want to invest in a full set right off the bat, OKO Creations has a pair you can buy in different sizes as well as full sets for when you are ready to make the complete transition.
So How Do Cloth Pads Actually Work?
I am glad you asked, the same way as their disposable counterparts.
The panty liners I am using from OKO Creations have been specially designed — wide at the front and narrow at the back — to fit with thong-style underwear.
They offer light protection during my period or any other day in between. Made of two layers of absorbent hemp and thick organic cotton, it is thin and efficient.
The fabric that comes into contact with the skin is made of natural fibres that haven't been bleached or dyed.
Like disposable pads, Öko Creations washable panty liners have wings to hold the pad in place with a snap attached under the underwear. In the case of the mini for thongs, there are two sets of snaps on the same wing, making them adjustable.
They’re a machine and hand washable. I usually machine wash mine and then hang them to dry.
How I use my cloth pads
On lighter days I change them every 4-5 hours. I place the used ones in the Dual Pocket Mini, making it easy to use reusable pads outside the home! And offers a discrete way to carry my clean or used pads with me. When I get home they go right in the wash. I know this might sound a little yucky to some, but honestly, you need to just get past that. At first, I did kind of find it weird to have used pads in my bag, but I got over it pretty quickly.
I think we find this gross because society makes us feel like our periods are dirty and something we need to be embarrassed about!
If I am home, I rise the pad right away and then it goes into the laundry bin. I have found this helps to reduce stains.
They are super comfortable and I love the fact that I can order them and they are delivered right to my house.
I have found that using these pads has saved me money, reduced my toxic exposure and have reduced my waste significantly!
Bottom line: You’ll have to put in a little extra work, but it's worth it!
Why I chose OKO Creations:
I love all of their products. A few years ago, I was introduced to the company when I was searching for reusable makeup remover pads. If you have not tried theirs, I HIGHLY recommend them. I LOVE them so much, they work the same way as cotton rounds and are the best I ahem used, hands down! And their face cloths! OMG, the best.
I now use their pads and am so happy with how they feel and how they perform. All of their products are made to last.
The feminine pads that I use at night are made with three layers of absorbent hemp fibre and a breathable waterproof layer, these reusable pads are longer than the regular pads and have two pairs of wings that attach with thin snaps around your underwear. The wings hold the pad in place and make it extremely well suited for nighttime as well as daytime heavy flow or light bladder leakages.
I also love that all their collections are proudly created and designed in Quebec from high-quality and conscientiously chosen textiles such as hemp and organic cotton.
They promote local ethical sewing, helping rejuvenate Quebec's textile industry. They offer good working conditions to employees, such as fair wages, breaks, a healthy environment, yoga sessions, etc. Their corporate culture is based on human and collective values and they encourage every employee to take an active role in product development and manufacturing processes.
They are sold in over 200 stores across Canada. If you are looking to purchase any of the products, please use the coupon code ECOHUB for 15% off.
And don't forget, I have a ton of eco brands right here on The Eco Hub in my brand directory for you to check out. Lots of awesomeness to choose from!