oFlo was started due not not finding what we wanted from a reusable pad - so we made our own! The whole point of reusables for us was to use a pad with organic fabric, taking away any pesticides from cotton production, and to be plastic free. We were shocked to find out that one packet of sanitary pads contains the same amount of plastic then 4 carrier bags. So when looking to buy for ourselves, the plastic poppers or PUL fabrics used didn’t make any sense! Our pads are made with premium materials (even the thread is organic cotton!), shaped and designed for the contemporary woman. They are made with metal nickel free, rust proof poppers and have one wing longer than the other to reduce ‘bulk’ when wearing. All pads are made by our small team in Bristol.
Our mission is to educate women on the risks of using resuables, as well as the damage they can cause to our environment. There is also an important part of empowerment to take control over your period rather than let the corporations convince you their products help you…they don’t. If you choose oFlo to try on your low waste journey - we are truly honoured we could help.
hold up! now… i know what you may be thinking - there’s loads of INFORMATION on this page! it is all worth knowing. As we’ve said above, knowledge is power. Power to make positive decisions for your health, your loved ones health and for the earth.
Disposable sanitary products contain cotton grown with pesticides and chemicals. Our skin has the ability to absorb everything! Think of how a nicotine patch works…Not using products grown with pesticides means our skin isn’t absorbing toxins, chemicals and bleach. Some of these environmental chemicals are endocrine disruptors, meaning they can alter how natural hormones in our bodies work. This can result in immune suppression, brain fog, reproductive abnormalities and cancer.
Tampons can create tiny cuts internally - seriously. Which results in your body absorbing more nasty toxins at a slow rate.
One cost of using sanitary pads and tampons are the toxic chemicals used to produce the product and bleach them snow white. The purification and bleaching process with chlorine products may leave traces of dioxins in the product. Dioxins are persistent organic pollutants that are highly toxic, damage your immune system and may interfere with your hormone system.
Using textiles that are organically grown or other sustainable fibers helps others too. Farmers that grow cotton suing pesticides are getting terrible diseases and dying from toxic exposure. A knock on effect that is just not worth it.
Supporting organic farming both with materials and produce means you are not only lowering health risks for yourself, but also for families who live on farms producing these products. Using organic methods of growing means cotton producers are able to use their land to grow food too - lowering levels of poverty and giving farmers a healthier life.
Many women find when using reusable products, this can relieve menstrual cramps, as well as get rid of any skin irritation from the chemicals used in non organic materials. It is also incredibly empowering to take control of your period!
As well as all the health benefits, using any type of reusable products will save you money.
The average pack of pads contains approximately the same amount of slow to degrade plastic as FOUR plastic carrier bags…crazy!
In the UK, we use a WHOPPING 4.3 BILLION disposable sanitary products a year. These are put into landfill, and overtime can release toxins into the earth. It is estimated in the UK about 700,000 pantyliners, 2.5 million tampons and 1.4 million sanitary towels are flushed down the toilet everyday. These block drains and sewage pipes, costing the UK £88 million a year - a cost we pick up with our water bills.
Millions of people flush single use plastic down the toilet, and flushed plastics make up around 7% of beach litter. A 2010 Marine Conservation Society beach survey found 23 sanitary towels and 9 tampon applicators for every Km of coast.
Plastics that enter the marine environment eventually breakdown into micro plastics that can be eaten by marine animals - thereby entering the food chain. There are already studies that show plastic is in the food we eat.
Cotton production makes extremely heavy use of dangerous pesticides and chemicals. Conventional cotton production accounts for 16% of insecticide release into the environment worldwide, and exposes growers, pickers, wildlife and the earth to poisoning.
Heavy treatment of soil with pesticides can cause populations of beneficial soil microorganisms to decline. According to the soil scientist Dr. Elaine Ingham, “If we lose both bacteria and fungi, then the soil degrades. Overuse of chemical fertilizers and pesticides have effects on the soil organisms that are similar to human overuse of antibiotics. Indiscriminate use of chemicals might work for a few years, but after awhile, there aren't enough beneficial soil organisms to hold onto the nutrients.” This means foods grown in non organic soils have less nutrients due to the poor quality of the soil.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg - we are focusing on one group of products - tampons and pads. This problem extends out to all the disposable products used every day.
cloth pads are a whole new venture that can be exciting but confusing…