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Four ways to an eco-friendly period

They’re good for the earth and for the human body too

May 20, 2019 05:43 pm | Updated May 21, 2019 05:16 pm IST

Happy young woman flying leafs in air towards sky.

Happy young woman flying leafs in air towards sky.

STs stuffed into black bags, cramps, mood swings, the whole disposal process — suffice to say, periods are a pain. Besides the physical discomfort, these also have layers of plastic that are non-biodegradable. “The chemicals in regular pads can react with the sweat and cause infections and rashes. Tampons that are inserted inside the vagina, if not changed for a long time, can cause toxic shock syndrome, where the toxins can get into the blood stream,” says Dr Kiran Coelho, Head of Department of Gynaecology, Lilavati Hospital, Mumbai. Here, a few Indian brands that make biodegradable sanitary napkins that are also skin-friendly, because they are derived from Nature.

EcoFemme

Th is women-led social enterprise was founded in 2010 at Auroville. They produce and sell reusable cloth pads made of GOTS-certified organic cotton. While the top layer is made of soft flannel, the inside is made of absorbent cotton flannel and the back layer of breathable polyurethane. It is washable and comes in vibrant colours. The pads can be fastened to underwear using buttons in its wings. To clean the used pad, it should be soaked in cold water for 30 minutes before washing and sun-drying. Visit shop.ecofemme.org; ₹235 upward.

Carmesi

Th ese plant-based pads and panty liners have a top layer made of corn starch, a middle layer or absorbent core made of bamboo fibre and a bottom layer of corn-based bioplastic. These pads come in a bio-degradable disposal bag they claim to be free of harmful synthetics, dyes, artificial fragrance, or dioxins. Available on a subscription basis, they come in two sizes. Visit mycarmesi.com; ₹249 a box.

Saathi

Th e company believes in zero-waste production and makes disposable pads out of banana fibre. The banana stem for the production is sourced from farmers in Gujarat, where the company is based, and after extracting the fibre, the residue is used by farmers as fertiliser. The pad is free from chemicals and the company claims that it will degrade within six months of disposal. Visit saathipads.com; ₹180 for a box.

Saukhyam

Th is is an initiative by Mata Amritanandamayi Math, an NGO based in Kerala. Saukhyam provides re-usable pads made of cotton and banana fibre. It comes with an outer cover made of soft cotton dyed with vegetable colours. The inserts are detachable and are stuffed with banana fibre that absorbs the menstrual blood. The base layer is made of polyurethane to make it leak-proof. The inserts are available in three sizes. After use, the pads should be soaked in water for 10 minutes before washing and sun-drying. Visit saukhyampads.org. Available from ₹60

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