21 Sep 2013

Eco Femme Cloth Pads - My review


One of the first brands of cloth pads that really caught my eyes is EcoFemme.


I've always loved that sort of exotic Indian fabrics that remind me those seventies hippie style boho tunics, kaftans and fair trade Indian bags, well the Eco Femme pads are made of beautiful Indian fabrics and soon as I saw them on-line I liked them straight away. 

Another reason why I was eager to try them out is because of the project behind the product itself.

Eco Femme is a global women's empowerment project promoting healthier, dignified and eco-friendly menstrual practises, it was created in 2009 in Auroville  a village in the south of India by a team of 11 wonderful women-the Eco Femmes -with big hearts driven by the will of breaking the silence and the shame around the menstruation in rural India and creating a connection between women around the world through a topic common to us all.


"The Eco Femme project empowers women in the areas of environment, education and livelihood"



Rags are been used in India and other countries for centuries so Indian women are very familiar to washable cloth for menstruation, the tradition wants them to use scrap cloth from old saris or towels and then bury them digging holes in baked earth (doesn't sound great, doesn't it?), so it seems only logical to carry on the tradition of cloth as it's surely more sustainable from an environmental point of view (keep in mind that India is not equipped to cope with an eventual use of disposables), but it's important to create a new more hygienic, healthier and affordable pads available for every woman. 

Kathy is one of the co-founder has been making pads since 2000 then in 2009 teamed up with the ladies of AVAG (Auroville Village Action Group) and they started the EcoFemme project assisting marginalised women in rural India and teaching them to make cloth pads which are ethically traded so that they can earn and sustain themselves and in the meantime they lead programs that encourage an healthy and dignified way of living their period fighting that feelings of impurity and shame that has accompanied women in India for centuries.  

The following videos explains very well how women from rural India live their period and the amazing work of Eco Femme, I suggest you not only to watch them but also to share and spread the word about this great project! 







In the next video she explain the advantages of cloth pads for every woman and for the society, and is shown how easy is to take of them. 




Talking about the pads now.

Features of Eco Femme cloth pads:
  • 100% cotton
  • Designed to last up to 5 years
  • Minimum 5 pads recommended for each user
  • Produced by women's self-help groups

They are available in three sizes: Pantyliner, Day pad and Night pad


All the Eco Femme products are made of 100% cotton: soft cotton flannel on the outside and ultra absorbent cotton flannel layers inside; they have nickel-free press studs and can be hand or machine washed and lasts at least 5 years. 

Pantyliner: 

ideal for light flow days, daily discharge, spotting or as a backup along with a menstrual cup; they do not have any leak-proof layer. 

18cm length x 6cm width (when closed)

Sold in pack of 3.









Day Pad:

Ideal for average flow days, it has a thin rubber sheet layer ensures protection from leakage and nickel-free press studs. 

23cm length x 6cm width (when closed)

Night pad:

The most absorbent pad for nights and heavy flow days, it has a thin rubber sheet layer and increased length and width at the back of pad ensures protection from leakage; the press studs are nickel-free. 

30.5cm length x 7.5cm width (when closed)



It's also available a little travel pouch made of waterproof synthetic fabric; it as a roll-down design which ensures protection from leakage and odour, it'14.5cm x 12.5cm when closeds and can comfortably hold 2 day pads. The pouch is always been sold in blue navy but it'll soon be available in new printed fabric. 


My opinion about Eco Femme pads is very positive, they are pretty, soft, comfortable and very well made ...and they've got such a lovely scent! As soon as I open the package I could smell it, a sort of sweet flowery scent, gorgeous! 

The Pantyliners are sold in pack of 3 and they are perfect as a backup together with menstrual cups and for everyday use as they are very discreet




As I've already said the Day pads and Night pads contain a thin layer of rubber which is completely natural so if you are one of those person who don't like PUL Eco Femme are the pads for you.***





In the next pic you can see the thickness of the three different pads: the first is the pantyliner, then the Day pad and finally the Night pad which is obviously quite thicker.
             


                             



Finally, if you need one more excuse to buy the EcoFemme pads you need to know that doing so you'll provide a pad to a girl in rural India. This project is called Pad for Pad. 
How does it works? 

For every Pantyliner 3-pack, single Day Pad or single Night Pad bought, EcoFemme will give a special manufactured pad to an adolescent girl in need; because a girl needs at least 3 cloth pads to manage her menstrual cycle, EcoFemme combine pad contributions to create a 3-pad kit for each girl we reach. For every pad purchased outside of India, the equivalent of 80 INR (approximately 1.50 USD, 1 GBP or Euro 1.30) will automatically go toward providing an adolescent girl with a washable cloth pad kit through menstruation education programs in schools and rural communities around India. 

If you want to know more about Pad for Pad just click here  

Also to find out more about the Eco Femme project and AVAG check their website ecofemme.org
I'd like to say thank you to Kathy as she has been so gracious to send me the pads.Thank you Kathy and to the Eco Femmes!


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You can purchase the Eco Femme products from: 

Feminine Wear FeminineWear.co.uk
Luxury Moon    Luxury Moon.co.uk



If you have tried any of the Eco Femme pads let me know what you think, I'd love to hear your experience :)

All the opinion about the product are my own , I was not required in any way to provide a positive review. 


***UPDATE: I need to correct some info I gave you on this post about the use of the leakproof rubber sheet as something has been changed during the last few months. 
I'm sharing Kathy's exact words: 

"Thank you Nadia for sharing this wonderful review about our work and the pads! I must share with you and our friends that in the last few months, we have begun a switch over to PUL for leakproofing for a few reasons...the rubber sheet we used to use was not in fact natural latex (because some people do experience allergic reaction to latex) - it was synthetic and not biodegradable. Our ladies stitching it also had a hard time because of the slipperyness of the material. Finally we had feedback that the presence of the leakproof "rubber" sheet tended to make the pads heavier and take longer to dry. So we are using PUL in the absence of a more natural solution. We continue to explore possibilities for more eco friendly leakproofing."

I know that the lovely ladies at Eco Femme are always trying to improve the quality of their pads, studying new solutions and adopting better material so I'm sure that all the choices they make lead to a higher standard of products.





Disclaimer: I haven't been paid for this review, I received the item subject of this post for review purposes only, All the opinions about the product are my own and based on my personal experience, I wasn't required in any way to provide a positive review. 


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