Green Your Period: Let's Talk About Reusable Cloth Pads

wrote this on April 18, 2016

I have a confession: I HATE disposable pads with the fiery passion of a thousand suns. They’re bulky, itchy, uncomfortable, and (not to mention) loaded with endocrine disrupting chemicals that contribute to period problems. As a teen, wearing them made me feel super subconscious about my body. Now, I’ve COMPLETELY changed my tune…all thanks to cloth pads! After watching this week’s video, I think you’ll agree.

In case you missed the first two videos in the “Green Your Period” series watch video #1 here to find out why you should go green with your period products and check out video #2 here for a menstrual cup show and tell!

My favorite cloth pad brands

There are TONS of different companies that make and sell cloth pads. Here are a few of my favorites:

1) Party in My Pants - these are the ones I currently use. They’re super thin, super comfy, and all-around super.

2) Mama Cloth - these are made of soft, anti-bacterial bamboo cloth. They’re ultra soft and ultra awesome.

3) Lunapads - this is an awesome brand with impact. Purchases on Lunapads help support AFRIpads.

Are disposables causing your period pain?

Horrible period problems have become the norm among women these days, and most of these issues are the result things like endocrine dispruting chemicals that are present in our environment…INCLUDING standard disposable menstrual products! Going green with your period products is just one of the many simple lifestyle changes you can make that will help you improve the health of your periods. It’s easier than you think to heal your period problems, and Period Reset (the awesome 30-day program I created after healing my own terrible periods) will teach you how. Check it out »

Video Transcript

00:00 - Hey there! Welcome to the third video in the Green Your Period video series. In this video we’re going to be discussing cloth pads. Sorry, my cat is trying to get my attention. Hopefully that’ll subside for the rest of the video! So, when you think of pads, and when I , for a long time, thought of pads, you probably think of big, bulky wads of cotton-like — cotton-ish — material that you shove in your underwear, and it feels like a diaper, and wearing them makes your downstairs feel hot, sweaty, and just generally pretty awful and uncomfortable. But…what if I told you that not all pads are like that?

00:52 - What if I told you that pads can actually be wonderfully comfortable (like, so comfortable that you can’t even tell that you’re wearing them), dry, odor-free, AND inexpensive?? It almost sounds too good to be true — and I know how crazy the idea of a comfortable, amazing pad is — but trust me when I say that it is not too good to be true. These things exist, and I’m about to explain more about them to you. Cloth pads are something that I personally use and love. And, in my humble opinion, they are are the bees knees. But to be honest, it took me quite some time to warm up to the idea of using cloth pads, just because I used disposable pads when i first started my period as a teen and HATED, HATED them with a fiery passion. It was the deepest of fiery passions. I loathed everything about disposable pads. They made me feel self-conscious about my body. I hated going to school and feeling like I was waddling around. It was not a good situation.

02:17 - For any woman, girl, it doesn’t exactly boost your self confidence. But as soon as I got my hands on a cloth pad, I was totally sold. Just holding one in my hand was enough to make me want to use them. I have a couple of cloth pads here. The brand of cloth pads that I use, and that’s the brand that these are, is called “Party in my pants”. They’re SUPER, as you can see, super, super thin…incredibly thin. Like, so thin that when you have them on, they just feel like part of your underwear. You can’t even tell that you’re wearing them. They’re extremely lightweight — they’re extremely bendy and flexy.

03:09 - They’re incredibly soft — the fabric is just so lovely. Incredibly soft and non-irritating. They’re incredibly breathable, and despite their thinness (don’t let that fool you), they’re crazy absorbent. Plus, I freaking love the name “Party in my pants”. How could you not want to use a cloth pad called “Party in my pants”? And I never thought I’d say this, but I’ve actually come to prefer cloth pads over menstrual cups. I know…I was surprised by that, too! I’m personally not a fan of having to fiddle with my menstrual products during the day or have to think about them during my period. When I was using menstrual cups, I found myself constantly checking it every time I would use the bathroom to make sure it was still seated in the right position, to make sure it was sealing properly because I was so worried about leaking.

04:23 - After a while, it honestly became an annoyance and a frustration for me. I know menstrual cups are wonderful for so many people…I’m not trying to be all negative about menstrual cups because they’re a wonderful invention. But, for me personally, cloth pads happened to be the perfect solution to the frustrations that I’ve had with other products I’ve tried. I have, as you can see, I have two different sized pads here. I have their medium-sized — the “Party in my pants” medium-sized pad, and the “Party in my pants” small. As you can see, their medium is quite a bit longer. This medium guy is perfect. I can wear it all day on the heaviest days of my period, and it’s more than enough for me.

05:16 - And it’s also long enough that I can sleep in it at night without worrying about leaking onto the sheets or anything like that. And then the small-sized pad is perfect for my lighter days of my period or even…a lot of folks use them as a backup for menstrual cups because they’re super thing — you can’t feel them and they’re really comfortable. One of the things about cloth pads that I really found appealing when I first started using them is that the fabric is super moisture-wicking. They have multiple layers — it feels like it has maybe four different layers in there. The top layer is kind of like a fleece-like material, so it’s super, super soft, and then there’s several absorbent layers underneath that. And then on the outside is a waterproof or water resistant layer so that nothing gets through there onto your underwear.

06:18 - These are awesome because they pull the moisture in so well and so quickly that I never feel wet or sticky or sweaty or any of those other awful feelings I used to experience back when I would use disposables. If I do need to change them during the day when I’m out — I’ll usually have a couple of these on hand — they’re super super easy to change so all I have to do is pull it off, fold it up, and then they have these handy little snaps on here that usually you would use to secure it around your underwear, but once you’re done with it, you can fold it up and snap it. And then it’s this awesome little compact, now water resistant on the outside so it’s not going to leak through and you’re not going to make a mess in your purse or anything like that. You can stick it in your purse, bring it home, and wash it later, which is awesome.

07:15 - So once I’m done with one during the day, if I am home at the time, or if I get home and have one of these that I need to wash, I’ll rinse it in the sink and either hand wash it and hang it somewhere to dry or rinse it and throw it in the washing machine and throw it the dryer, and it’s super super easy, super quick, and super simple. Which is wonderful. So not only are cloth pads super comfortable, but one of the other things that I really love about them is that they’re extraordinarily cost-effective and sustainable. I paid — and I double-checked their website to make sure I’m correct on this — their small pad is $9.99 and their medium pad sells for $12.99. So I paid about 10-ish dollars for each of these, and if you break it down, that’s about a month’s worth of disposables.

08:22 - That may sound like a lot, but I only have four of these guys and that’s plenty for me. So I’ll wash them and rotate them during my period. I’ve had these for over a year now, which means they’ve already paid for themselves in the amount of money that I’ve saved by not buying disposables. And, like I said I’ve had these for a year, and they’re still in fantastic shape. Not a single stitch has started coming loose, the cloth is still in wonderful shape. I’ve been using these for a year, and as you can see they’re not stained. So they are wonderful products. I don’t imagine I’ll have to be replacing these for at least several more years, which is wonderful.

09:07 - Plus, one of the things that’s really important to me, is that when I’m on my period I’m not throwing away tons of products every single month that will ultimately get dumped into a landfill somewhere and will take a hundred years to break down if they contain any type of plastic. I feel really great about that. So not only are they comfortable, they’re very inexpensive — they’re going to save you money over time. And using them, even if it’s just as a backup to maybe a menstrual cup or maybe a backup to disposable tampons — replacing panty liners with these or replacing any disposable products with these is going to minimize your environmental footprint. Which is a really positive thing, and it’s something that you can feel really good about.

10:11 - Sorry…can’t talk. Just spit it out! It’s something to feel really good about. There we go…nailed it that time! If you’re interested in giving cloth pads a try (which I highly, highly recommend), and even if you’re not really sure, I’d recommend even just buying one and giving it a shot. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised, as I was. Who knows, you might even become a convert. You might even start preferring these to your disposable tampons or to your menstrual cup or whatever. I’ve added links right below the video to several of my favorite cloth pad brands, including “Party in my pants” that I personally use. And, like I said, those are right below the video.

11:00 - As a closing note, I mentioned this already, but if you had asked me as a teenager or even just a couple of years ago, I never expected that I would become a pad person. I’ve always been really obsessive about feeling clean. Maybe not necessarily feeling clean…just not feeling sticky and dirty and all that sort of nasty stuff. I’m very particular about the things that go on my body. The shirts that I wear, I’m super particular about the fabric and how it feels against my skin. So I’ve always just been really weird about stuff like that. So I never thought I’d be a pad person because the regular pads make that crinkly sound, they’re not soft — they just don’t feel good on your skin — they’re just ick. Just thinking about disposable pads…ick…they just feel disgusting. And if you use them, this is nothing against you. This is just my personal preference…I don’t like them. So I never thought that I’d be a pad person, and here I am using them pretty religiously and loving them. And not just that, but recommending them to other people.

12:33 - I never thought I would be in this position! But cloth pads really changed the way that I think about pads, and I think that it could potentially do the same thing for you. I can’t recommend them highly enough. Definitely give them a try, check out the links below the video. So yeah, the fourth and final video in the Green Your Period video series I’ll be reviewing THINX period underwear. I don’t want to give away too much, but I’ve been using them for several months, and I’m obsessed. They’re awesome. And I’m really excited to talk more about them and share them with you. So check out the next video, stay tuned, and I will talk to you soon. Bye!

Jennifer Aldoretta is the cofounder and CEO of Groove. She is an entrepreneur, engineer, and biohacker who is obsessed with periods, nutrition, hormones, and the microbiome.