A Guide to Ethical Period Products

How to have an ethical, eco-friendly period for a life well lived. Guest written by Frances Lucraft, Founding CEO, Grace & Green.

Periods for Profit
Choosing Ethical Period Products
Periods and Health
The Uncomfortable Truth about Period Products
Period Poverty – 40 Million Women

Periods for Profit

“Back in 2014, I sought to found a company that would challenge the status quo of the “feminine hygiene” industry as it exists today.  During my research phase, I found many products to be alarmingly damaging to the planet and to women’s health.

Despite advances in menstrual products, the sanitary industry perpetuates insecurities around period secrecy and upholds female stereotypes.

Choosing Ethical Period Products

Love them or hate them, periods are something most women have to deal with. Half the population of the planet has periods and period blood is the stuff of life itself – a natural and healthy part of women’s lives.

For generations it been associated with pain and negativity, surrounded by silence and secrecy. However, in recent years there has been something of a period movement with a change of perceptions and in the types of products we as women use.

Period products have improved enormously over the last few decades with the advent of slimmer, thinner pads and tampons. Newer products such as the menstrual cup and reusable pads are becoming increasingly popular. However, most women still choose to use disposable sanitary products and spend around £4,800 in a lifetime on period related products.

Periods and Health

Skin is the largest organ in your body.  It is also the thinnest and most sensitive. Less than one-tenths of an inch separates the body from potential toxins. Skin is highly permeable, especially the skin in and around the vaginal area. This means that anything coming into constant contact with skin leaks into the bloodstream and body.


The Uncomfortable Truth about Period Products

You may be surprised to know that many of the non-organic period products on the market today are made, lined, stuffed, scented and packaged in plastic. Plastic is primarily made from petrochemicals, in other words oil!

Genuine 1970’s advert. Tampax have since launched several plastic applicator tampon products.

We could really start to save the planet by changing what we use every month. Aside from squeezing every last drop of oil from our planet – transporting, manufacturing and even disposing contributes to climate change.

In general, tampon and sanitary pad manufacturers do not need to disclose ingredients because feminine hygiene products are considered “medical devices.” In fact, conventional sanitary pads can contain the equivalent of about four plastic bags!  With everything we now know about the hazardous nature of plastic chemicals, this alone is cause for concern.

Synthetics and plastic restrict air flow, trap heat and dampness. This can potentially cause yeast and bacteria growth in the vaginal area. Besides crude oil plastics, conventional sanitary pads can also contain other potentially hazardous ingredients, such as odour neutralisers and fragrances.

The average woman will use roughly 11,000 tampons and pads in her lifetime which is about 22 menstrual products per cycle. This translates into 125 – 150 kgs of tampons, pads and applicators thrown away by a woman in her lifetime. There are around nine plastic tampon applicators for every 1km of UK beach.

Period Poverty – Forty Million Women

While menstruation is a natural part of most women’s lives, for many this time of the month fills them with dread. Period poverty is a well-documented phenomenon where women feel even more vulnerable during their period. On top of many social challenges, forty million women and girls around the world are affected by period poverty. We must fight back.

Grace & Green partner with incredible organisations like The Unmentionables who provide forcibly displaced individuals and communities around the world with safe and consistent access to sexual and reproductive health education.

Closer to home, you can choose to support UK charities such as the Bloody Good Period who supply period products to 25 asylum seeker drop in centres in London and Leeds. Freedom4 Girls, support women and girls in the UK and abroad by offering not just disposables, but environmentally-friendly, washable re-usables and menstrual cups. Period products can be donated to your local foodbank and also via the Beauty Bank.

About Grace & Green, premium hygiene brand

We launched Grace & Green, in January 2019. Driven by a passion for innovation and purpose, we offer the most exceptional, high-performing and effective period and hygiene products on the market today.

We only use 100% certified organic and ethically sourced ingredients. The result is a period product collection that has 0% pesticides, chemicals and bleach – both kind to bodies, and respectful to the planet, but also transparent and authentic to you, our lovely consumers.

You can shop the Grace & Green period product collection on Rare Beauty, our exclusive online stockist.”

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