At Unoa we are all about body positivity and female empowerment, working closely to train women in the workplace and promote gender equality. We are also all about sustainable fashion and sustainable living. Which is why it's so important as females to understand how we can make a difference in the fight against plastic pollution and period poverty.
Many women around the world are still shamed for their periods and suffer from period poverty. This could be due to the masculine concept that a woman's bodily functions are seen as monstrous as told by *Barbara Creed*. It’s still somewhat a taboo subject to speak openly about periods in general, when in reality it is a natural occurrence that happens to 50% of the population.
All this said the main purpose of this article is to highlight how women can make a huge difference in the world. We have done it before, fighting for the vote, equal pay and still for equal rights, so we can do it again for the environment. As an individual swapping to reusable products would save over 11,000 disposable products* in a lifetime. As a collective of empowered women how amazing would it be to help fight the plastic pollution problem, despite it being an area that many men can't even face talking about.
Have you ever thought of the environmental impacts of feminine hygiene products?
There are over 12 billion pads and tampons thrown away each year.
1.5-2 billion menstrual items are flushed down Britain's toilets per annum alone.*
Lots of nasty chemicals, over 3900 are used just in the fragranced products,* which are bad for the environment (let alone your body).
Not only are the more conventional feminine hygiene products bad for the environment and your body, they are also expensive, which is why across the world many women still cannot afford to regularly buy products they need every single month. Women have to choose between a meal or to keep themselves clean and dry.
There are now ranges of more sustainable solutions, which aren’t just good for the planet but for women's bodies too! Most of the products listed are also a one off payment as they are all reusable, which means saving money in the long run. As it's a growing industry have a look out for these alternatives to name a few.
Shethinx, Modibodi and Wuka
Mooncup, OrganiCup and The DivaCup
Reusable panty liners
Earthwise Girls and EcoDreams
(many many more on etsy!)
For those who don’t like the idea of using these products, it's totally understandable and in some situations they can be tricky. Being all inclusive is very important to us, which is why there are other alternatives as well which help the planet and people less fortunate.
Is a company that has personalised boxes delivered to your door, free from chemicals unlike many other brands, and using 100% certified organic cotton as well as environmentally friendly alternatives to plastic in pads.
Eco by Naty
Are a company that started up designing nappies good for the environment, but swiftly moved onto feminine care. No plastic, and 100% organic cotton as well.
Periods cannot be stopped but the harmful products you use can be, making your period powerful. There are some amazing sustainable solutions out there. With many of the brands helping to end period poverty as well. You could give any of these products a try, lead a revolution as an empowered individual to stop plastic pollution as a woman.
Written by Daisy Culbert
*Barbara Creed a feminist challenging masculine ideas through film research.*
*Friends of the earth "Plastic periods: menstrual products and plastic pollution".