Whether you’re a pad or a tampon kinda person, our periods are usually met with impatience and annoyance. I don’t think I know anyone excited to get their period month after month (unless of course you’ve just signed up to Riley and are SO excited to try our products). We tend to be loyal to brands we’ve always bought when it comes to menstrual products, and let’s be honest, they’re probably the products/brands our mums used. Imagine, we use these products in 8-hour stints for 3-7 days straight and we’ve probably never considered what goes into making them! I mean what is a tampon actually made of? Should just be cotton right? You would think, but not always. And even if we were curious and wanted to know, we wouldn’t be able to access the information anyway as the ingredients aren’t listed on the box (eye-roll).
Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals
Now, are you ready for the shock of your life? You seated? Yes? Okay! Our mainstream conventional period products, yep, the ones we’ve always used, have harmful synthetic chemicals that can disrupt our hormones. A.K.A. Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals, EDC’s (no wonder they don’t put it on the box). These EDC’s are linked to reproductive issues, endometriosis, early puberty, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, hormonal cancers, and fertility problems. Aren’t you glad we told you to sit down?! To learn more about EDC’s check out our blog post on the dirty dozen. Your mind will be blown!
Most of the time, we see scented sanitary products and if you have a particularly heavy flow, these products might give you some reassurance, confidence even. BUT these scented products can contain allergens, sensitisers, phthalates (a group of chemicals used to make plastics more durable), neurotoxins and synthetic musks. If your products are made with non-organic cotton, then they probably contain pesticides and have been bleached in chlorine, and this leads to dioxins. Dioxins are one of the most toxic chemicals to us mere mortals and yes, they are an EDC.
But it's not all doom and gloom, because DA DA DA DAAAAAAAA, ENTER RILEY!
A Healthier Period
Contrary to popular belief, period products that are full of bleach, toxins and chemicals are not your only option. Certified organic cotton tampons and pads (*cough RILEY cough cough*) are a much better alternative.
Not to blow our own horn here but did you know that our products are 100% certified organic cotton, they’re compostable (don’t get us started on the amount of plastic in conventional period products), they’re toxin & chemical free, AND we’ll deliver them to your door when you need them. For those who aren’t a fan of the naked tampons, our applicators are bio based and made from sugarcane, so they are 100% recyclable and our pads, oh our pads, are leak proof ( created with a patented technology). Damn we are good!
It’s important to remember that whether you chose certified organic cotton tampons and pads, a mooncup, period underwear or re-useable fabric pads, you’re helping to clean up our beaches from discarded sanitary waste and helping to end period poverty. Check out how Riley is fighting period poverty in Kenya with every sale we make.
Other Everyday Eco-Friendly Swaps
Switching up your period products to a more sustainable option is a brilliant way to start. But did you know there are loads of other small, everyday swaps we can make that can have a huge impact on the environment? Check out this blog post from PARO to learn more about the simple earth-friendly swaps we can integrate into our lives.
At the end of the day, we wouldn’t use a product on our face that’s loaded with toxins and chemicals for 1 week every month for about half our lives, so why would we do it to our vagina - one of the most absorbent parts of the body? It’s a sensitive little thing you know!