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Will you Switch to Cloth Pads? 6 Differences Between Disposable and Reusable Pads

There's lots of talk about healthier and sustainable period products but why all the fuss?

Yes, we're talking about cloth pads, period undies, menstrual cups and sea sponges. 

Which do you prefer?   

Let's run through some of the differences so you can make a well-informed decision on whether you'd like to make the switch to reusable menstrual solutions. We'll mainly focus on pad options because it is what we do :) 

6 differences to be mindful of when considering the cloth switch: 

Cost:
The amount of total cost spent on period products varies from person to person according to their flow and length of cycle. On average, women menstruate between the ages of 11-45, that's 30+ years of regular periods not to mention the products needed to manage other natural bodily functions—regular discharge, postpartum bleeding and incontinence as the body changes. Women can spend anywhere between $100-$300 per year plus GST tax because they're still listed as a luxury item in Australia. Appalling. Supermarket disposables have a lower upfront cost but you must buy them regularly. 

Reusable pads are quite the opposite. It is a higher initial investment on top quality certified organic cloth pads but there are long term savings on the horizon. Using and reusing the same set of cloth pads over years is a great money saving solution for those who would rather spend their money on other things such as travel adventures or just want to save money for those rainy day. 

Health Benefits & Effects:
Now to the confronting part of using traditional pads. Unfortunately, pads are not regulated here in Australia meaning that manufacturing companies do not have to disclose the exact ingredients that makes up a pad.

It's important what you're inserting and sitting against for hours on end as the vagina is an absorbent part of the body. Aussie Padman came across disposable pads at a supermarket when travelling abroad and noticed a very interesting but scary ingredients list—bleached wood pulp, hot brand adhesive and petrochemical liner were the first 3 listed. That can't be real but unfortunately, we all just don't know what is truly inside disposable pads.

In cloth pads you know exactly what each layer is made up of especially the layer that touches the skin. hannahpad's internal and top sheets are made from certified organic cotton where the cotton crop are sustainably grown on organic farms with strict farming practices. There is no use of herbicides and pesticides. With minimal processing retaining its most natural soft, comfy and breathable quality makes choosing organic important for your health and well-being. 

 Natural organic cotton is beige in colour.

Environmental Impact:
We're not only concerned about what's inside conventional pads but also how it's packaged. Did you know that one single-use pad is made up of 90% plastic. It's plastic everywhere, from the plastic wrapper, pad itself to the plastic backing over adhesive parts (along the core and wings of a pad). We're encouraging people to think twice when disposing pads as they are contributing to 45,000 tonnes of menstrual waste ending in landfills and waterways each year across the world. What's more shocking is that they take centuries to decompose and during that breakdown process can cause harm to the environment. Switching to cloth pads means so much more plastic waste saved because they last for years until they fall apart and it's time to retire them.

What's awesome about hannahpad is that components of the pad are biodegradable and compostable (organic internal and top sheets) and 100% recyclable (cotton hem and plastic snap fasteners). Please note that the floral patterned with internal waterproof coating is the only part that needs to be disposed of in regular household garbage. It's good to know that most components that make up a hannahpad do not have to end up in bins. 

No unnecessary plastic packaging please. 

 
Convenience:
Surprise! Your period has unexpectedly started and you're not prepared yet again. Has this happened to you? This happens even if you're tracking your period. Don't you hate it when you have to stop by the nearest shop or supermarket to pick up yet another pack of pads? You can stop this vicious disposable pad run cycle by being pad handy with hannahpads in your bag, at all times.

The truth is that cloth pads require washing and drying before reusing but it's a doable routine that cuts out the fuss of buying more disposables when you run out and dealing with sanitary bins when you have to throw away. Single-use pads, no thanks. 

Patterns/customisation:
We're used to seeing pads that are plain white in design but let's be honest that's boring. Real natural cotton is beige in colour not white. The added fun part to hannahpads are the available gorgeous floral patterns you can choose from to reflect your style. Beyond that hannahpad offers 6 sizes which includes the longest and largest measuring at 42cm (very useful for those heavy flow nights). Customise with an added button to help adjust pad width to sit nicely on your underwear when snapped up. Now, do you have these options with disposables? Don't think so. Many people have told us how excited they are about getting their period each month (versus dreading it before using hannahpad) because of the patterns. YAY! 

 
Comfort:
The longer you sit in a traditional pad, the more discomfort you may feel. This discomfort can range from itchy and irritated skin, feeling sweaty and stuffy to pad movement (the sticky bits just don't stick for long). Why put up with any longer?

Pillowy softness and comfort brings instant relief to your skin and feels like you're wearing cotton underwear. Our multi-layered design improves air flow between each internal sheet for breathability and increased absorbency. Finally, no more scratchy and crunchy feeling in the pants.  

We hope this helps show the comparisons between cloth pads and disposables, so you're aware of your available options!

July 31, 2018 — hannahpad Australia & New Zealand