Hello! Today we decided to write about reusable cloth menstrual pads and the use of them. One of our projects is to take reusable pads to Gambia and give them to women who need them. Reusable pads are a cheaper and more sustainable alternative to disposable pads. Cloth menstrual pads are mostly fabric and inside is a liquid repellent layer that ensures no menstruation blood comes through the pad. You can buy cloth pads from different kinds of webshops and after a bit of research: there are very nice patterns! I would like to see Marimekko’s Unikko pattern reusable cloth pads! I would totally use them..
Still, our project is to make pads ourselves and possibly teach making them in Gambia. Reusable pads are also hygienic as long as you take proper care of them and change them often enough during your period. How often you change it is individual and depends on, for example, how heavy your flow is. The wash of the pads is easy. First you need to rinse the pad in cold water so the blood comes off easily and doesn’t stain. After this (in Finland) you can throw the pad in a washing machine and wash it in 60 or 90 degrees. In developing countries there are usually no opportunities to use a washing machine, so an equally hygienic way is to boil the pads in water. It kills the bacteria and after drying the pad is ready to be used again!
We are aware that when we give Gambian women reusable pads we also need to teach how to use them. Proper care of the pads and taking care of hygiene during menstruation are very important subjects as well. In Gambia, women don’t necessarily have the possibility to use menstruation products. Sometimes girls can’t even go to school during their period because they don’t have pads, tampons or mentrual cups to use.
We are getting help and tips from Katri Kuumola to make the pads! Very big thanks to Katri! She is willing to help with the attachment of snaps: you need a special machine to do it. The snaps enable easy and fast removal and changing of the pad.
Some of us might start making the pads this summer and we might even make them together if the Coronavirus sitution allows it. In finnish I would say: saumurit viuhuammaan ja menox!
Happy starting summer and best regards,
Emma Kasurinen & Veera Juntunen