On average, women menstruate for the equivalent of 6.5 YEARS of their life. That amounts to almost a decade of you having something in or near your vagina. "Something" is the key word here - because 90% of women don't actually know what their period care is made of. Let's be clear: these women are not to blame.
Big fem care brands love to paste photos of fluffy white cotton on all their advertisements and because they're not required to share their ingredients, consumers have no reason to believe cotton isn't even on the list sometimes.
Most of these "somethings" actually contain plastics, traces of pesticides and cancerous chemicals (such as dioxins), and conventional cotton. Another key word, which describes the way 99% of the world's cotton is grown. Using chemicals and pesticides, GMO seeds and fostering a mono-culture in a cycle which damages the soil, nearby water sources and the lives of farmers.
We have a whole article on the differences between conventional and organic cotton, which uncovers the environmental damages caused by conventional cotton farming. While we definitely suggest you have a read of that, we also wanted to share why switching to organic cotton is not only better for our planet, but for your health.
The greatest benefit to organic cotton is what it doesn't have. Because crops and pests are controlled using natural methods, organic cotton is free from chemicals. That's a BIG win for your vagina!
Traces of pesticides used to grow conventional cotton crops can be found in most big brand products. Some of these have been shown to break down into synthetic estrogen & cause hormone imbalance (which can even lead to reduced progesterone levels or infertility).
Dioxin, another popular chemical loved by big brands, is cancerous. Although women are exposed to it in very low doses through their period care, there is still a possibility of it causing endometriosis or infertility.
These possibilities are extremely real, but thankfully they're also pretty rare (it's not a risk we'd like to take though personally!). What's unbelievably common though is the itching and discomfort many women experience throughout their cycle. So common, actually, that most assume it's one of the many frustrating experiences that come along with your period.
Spoiler alert: it's not normal! It's not a side-effect of your period, but rather of the nasty ingredients in your period care. Synthetic materials (such as the top layers of most pads & tampons) as well as traces of chemicals, can lead to higher chances of allergic reactions and skin irritation.
We've met so many women that were amazed to see their discomfort disappear after switching to organic (our own founder included!). We've even had women confess they didn't even realize they were experiencing irritations until they finally experienced a period how it should be - comfortable.
We really do believe switching to organic cotton can improve quality of life - not only yours, but also that of the farmers who grow these crops. Prolonged exposure to pesticides and other toxic chemicals harbors serious health risks for farmers and their families. From an economical perspective, conventional cotton farming can also be harmful to local communities who rely on it for jobs & income.
In the long term, harsh chemicals ruin the natural soil. According to FAO, approximately a third of the globe's soil has already been degraded. This means more and more chemicals have to be employed each year to obtain the same results. It also means this process is NOT sustainable overtime.
Although switching to organic cotton practices can be expensive and laborious for farmers, it's ultimately more beneficial for them and better for the environment. It allows soil to remain healthier for longer, and uses 71% less water and 62% less energy than conventional cotton farming!