MAKING A DIFFERENCE
Our aim at Etica is to provide women with period products that gives them an alternative to conventional period products, whilst tackling current issues that exist globally.
We take a three-pronged approach to resolving current issues around menstruation.
THE IMPACT OF CONVENTIONAL PERIOD PRODUCTS ON THE ENVIRONMENT
There is a war against plastic waste, but this shouldn’t just stop at plastic bottles and food packaging. The plastics used in conventional menstrual products are not biodegradable or compostable and will remain in the environment for hundreds of years. Did you know that on average a pack of pads has the equivalent of 4 plastic bags of plastic in it?
In the UK, every woman uses an average of over 11,000 disposable menstrual products in her reproductive lifetime. Tampons, pads and panty liners generate more than 200,000 tonnes of waste per year, and they all contain plastic, which ultimately ends up in landfill, is incinerated releasing harmful gases into the air we breathe or in oceans and rivers.
The production of plastic releases huge amounts of pollution into the environment. Toxic gases released contribute towards global warming and have a detrimental effect on our health.
In 2010, a UK beach clean found an average of 23 menstrual pads and nine tampon applicators per kilometre of British coastline.
Our pads are completely plastic free. Not only biodegradable, but compostable too. This means your period won’t leave a negative mark on our planet.
CHLORINE AND OTHER HARMFUL CHEMICALS IN CONVENTIONAL PERIOD PRODUCTS
Conventional disposable menstrual are made from wood pulp and bleached white with chlorine. This creates the chemical dioxin, which is a highly toxic environmental pollutant with serious health implications:
These products also cause problems such as, pH imbalance of the vagina, causing dryness, which leads to discomfort, itching, rashes and infections.
Manufacturers are not required to list all the ingredients and materials used in conventional pads. Therefore, not enabling women as consumers to make an informed choice about the products we choose to use.
A recent analysis by WVE showed that there could be over 14 different chemicals in these products. Gynaecologists have advised that one of the primary causes of vaginal irritation is caused by the chemicals and synthetic material in conventional pads.
PERIOD POVERTY & TABOO
Period poverty is a worldwide issue. However, due to the stigma around periods in many cultures, the lack of education, poor sanitisation infrastructure and overall poverty the issue is swept under the carpet and not spoken of.
UNESCO estimates that 1 in 10 African girls miss school during their period, which eventually leads to them dropping out of school all together.
If a girl misses school every time she has her period, she is set back 145 days behind her fellow male students.
In 2017 a 12 year old girl in India committed suicide because she had period stains on her clothes and was shamed for it.
In India only 12% of women and girls have access to menstrual products. This leads to health risks such as Toxic Shock Syndrome, cervical cancer and infections.
Period Poverty is not just an issue for women and girls in third world countries, it exists even here in the UK. Does this shock you?
1 in 10 girls and women aged between 14 and 21 can't afford to buy menstrual products according to Plan International UK.
Over 137,700 girls in the UK have missed school because of period poverty.
68% said they felt less able to pay attention in class at school or college while menstruating.
1 in 10 girls have admitted to improvising with socks, toilet roll or newspapers because they are embarrassed to ask for help.
Foodbank charities are reporting that low income families frequently ask for sanitary towels as they simply can’t afford them.