Wondering where to start your zero-waste period journey? Here’s a roundup of 20+ zero-waste period brands you might consider exploring as you make the switch from disposables to plastic-free options!
Environmental Impact Of Disposable Period Products
Today plastic-based period products are ending up in our oceans, landfills, and polluting our beaches. In fact, according to Natrcacare, “plastic plastic period products are the fifth most common item found washed up on Europe’s beaches, with 1.4 million flushed down the loo every single day in the UK alone.”
Tampons, pads and panty liners along with their packaging and individual wrapping generate more than 200,000 tonnes of waste per year, shares Organicup. That’s about about twenty times as heavy as The Eiffel Tower!
And, here’s one last fact for you: Over the course of a lifetime, according to National Geographic, a single menstruator will use somewhere between 5 and 15 thousand pads and tampons…which can take anywhere from 500-800 years to biodegrade!
Honestly, once I started learning all these facts I just knew that I had to make a change. I didn’t want to continue creating plastic waste when I knew there were so many great zero-waste period brands and alternative solutions available.
Three of the most common zero-waste period products you’ll come across are the reusable pad, the period underwear, and the period cup. But there are a variety of zero-waste period brands you can choose from.
This is probably one of the most popular menstrual cup brands. Founded by mother daughter team in 2003, this brand not only offers eco-friendly and comfortable menstrual products but is committed to advancing the menstrual equity movement through their DivaCares program. To date they have supported over 180,000 periods!
Founded by brother and sister duo, Amber English and Ben Moore, Pixie cups is a menstrual cup brand on a mission to empower women worldwide. Through their buy-one-give one program they provide FREE menstrual cups to women in need across the world. To date Pixie Cup has donated 101180 cups. Cups are made from 100% medical-grade silicone that is FDA approved.
Saalt products are not only sustainably sourced but ethically created. As a certified B-Corp Saalt has committed 2% of its revenue to donating period care products to regions with the most need, and help fund initiatives in menstrual health, education, and sustainability. Products range from menstrual cups to period underwears.
This brand covers all your period needs — from organic cotton tampons to the menstrual cup. But Cora is so much more than “just” a period brand, they’re an agent for change. To date they’ve donated 12,442,917 pads and tampons and diverted more than 14000 single-use products from the landfill. From each product sold, a percentage of profits is used to provide pads and health education to those in need through their partners on the ground in India, Kenya, and the United States.
Designed and developed by founder, Heli Kurjanen, lunette is on a mission to break period and sex taboos. Cups are made with soft, medical grade silicone which is BPA and chemical free and come in multiple colors.
Founded by registered nurses Mary Bond and Robyn McLean, these cups are made from the highest quality medical-grade TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) available. They’re hypoallergenic and recyclable and are free of silicone, rubber, latex, and BPAs. While providing various different sizes and colors, a unique feature of this brand is they offer a cup for individuals who may have a low cervix. They also donate a portion of their proceeds to various programs and support numerous global nonprofits through their Hello Kind program.
OrganiCup holds 3 tampons worth and can be worn for up to 12 hours. Made of 100% soft medical-grade silicone. Comes in three sizes. As most of the eco period brands in this guide Organic Cup has partnered with numerous organizations to help remove the stigma around menstruation, to help educate, and to donate products to those most in need of period products.
From skincare to organic cotton pads to menstrual cups, Rael offers various products. Rael has partnered with the local LA organization Happy Periods, a Los-Angeles based organization that supports women who are homeless, low-income, and or/living in poverty and provides them with menstrual hygiene kits.
Lena Cup has been voted the #1 best beginners cup. It’s bell-shape offers 12 hours of protection and is ideal both for teens and adults.
This period and leak-proof brand covers it all — from period and sweat proof underwear to swimwear. Absorbency levels range from moisture wicking to 24-hour maxi protection! Even their swimsuits are created for light bladder leaks or your light period days! A small percentage of every purchase made goes towards providing product directly into the hands of women in need. To date modibodi has donated 23,341 pairs of period underwear to women in need.
Promised to be leak-proof and odor-free these period and incontinence underwear come in various colors and styles. Ruby Love even offers period-proof sleepwear and onesies!
verified in an independent laboratory and tested for harmful substances according to STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX®, this period underwear comes in one color (black) and can absorb up to about 25 mL (roughly the amount held by 3-4 regular tampons) of menstrual fluid. (see above for brand description.)
Tomboy‘s new period-proof, leak proof underwear come in 3 different styles (bikini, trunks, and briefs) and three different colors (Plum, Black, and iron). Tomboyx not only develops sustainably and ethically created underwear but to give back to local nonprofits and charities. Over the past two years, Tomboyx has donated over $200k to various non-profits.
While Knix offers a wide range of intimates ranging from bras (maternity bras included) to activewear, they also provide a wide variety of leakproof (period, pee, and sweat-proof) underwears. In addition Knix is committed to ethical sourcing. All of their products are designed in Canada and manufactured in socially and environmentally responsible factories in China, just outside of Shanghai, Seoul in South Korea and in Italy.
Although known primarily for their menstrual cups, Saalt also offers period underwear. Levels of absorbency ranges from light to high and come in various styles (bikini, hipster, brief, thong).
Reusable Cloth Pads
Founded in 1993, GladRags’s mission has always been to make cloth pads and menstrual cups go mainstream and empower menstruators everywhere. Certified b-corp Glad Rags believes in transparency and sustainability every step of the way. Products range from menstrual cups to cloth pads of all shapes and sizes.
Transparent, sustainably created, ethically manufactured Period Aisle, co-founded by Suzanne Siemens & Madeleine Shaw, offers both period underwears, reusable pads, and menstrual cups. Menstrual cups come in three different sizes. Aisle underwear have a multi-layered leak proof panel, featuring Truetex™ fabric technology that absorb two tampons worth of menstrual fluid on their own. Aisle reusable pads hold up to 4 tampons worth of blood and come in various colors. Also available, reusable liners for your lighter days.
Family-owned and made in Canada these reusable cloth pads come in various colors, sizes and materials (cotton, bamboo, polyester (athletic wicking)). Plus, for every pantyliner and pad sold, one tree is planted.
Party In My Pants is a small woman-owned and operated business. Cloth pads come in various colors and sizes and are all handmade in Ashland, Wisconsin. Plus, every month Party in My pants partners with an organization doing charitable work in the field of health, menstrual equity, and women’s empowerment.
Cloth Queen pads are crafted with organic materials and keeps even the most sensitive intimate areas fresh and leak-proof. Pads come in various styles (daily pads, overnight pads, pantyliners) and so many fun colors.
Reusable Tampon Applicator
If you’re a tampon girl through and through but want to reduce your plastic footprint, you may want to check out Dame. This new eco period brand recently launched a reusable tampon applicator. To date Dame has saved 2.5 million applicators from being thrown away — one applicator saves up to 12,000 disposable plastic applicators! Better yet this applicator is compatible with all tampon sizes! In addition to the reusable tampon applicator Dame offers organic cotton tampons and reusable liners/pads. The reusable applicator sells for $25.00.
So there you have it! 20+ zero-waste period brands to help you start your plastic-free journey. Do you have a favorite zero-waste period brand? Share in comments! 🙂
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