Reusable Sanitary Pads

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  • Sophiaj
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Re: Reusable Sanitary Pads

Yes, I agree with you. It requires understanding the community, context, culture and feasibility. There is not a straight or one stop solution to a problem which is deep rooted. There has to be a flexible and multipronged approach, for example use of multiple products by one users , disposable and reusable. 

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  • StephTTam
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Re: Reusable Sanitary Pads

Reusable sanitary pads are an eco-friendly, low-cost option, but I do want to make sure that this thread includes some safety considerations before deciding to promote them in a particular context:
  • climate: if the context has a monsoon season, proper drying may not be possible/take a lot longer than expected. This can mean that during monsoon season, disposable sanitary pads need to be used or a larger quantity of reusable sanitary pads is needed
  • laundering conditions: if people do not have access to private laundering facilities (i.e. not connected to open drains where menstrual blood can be seen publicly), people may have difficulty properly washing reusable sanitary pads and resort to washing them at night or in remote areas where they are susceptible to GBV
  • drying conditions: if people do not have access to a culturally acceptable drying space that is adequately ventilated (this may be a room inside their house), drying time may be a lot longer than anticipated. People may resort to covering sanitary pads with other clothing items on publicly visible laundry lines, impeding proper drying
  • cultural limitations on activities during menstruation: in certain contexts, people who are menstruating are not permitted to leave a designated room or touch household items. In such cases, laundering and drying reusable sanitary pads may not be possible
While we should be pushing back on stigma surrounding menstruation, it takes time for community beliefs and customs to change. Coordinate with Protection and Sexual and Reproductive Health actors working in the area to avoid overlapping with/countering each other's efforts. Conduct a thorough assessment of current community practices and beliefs if another actor has not already done so. Decide on which MHM materials are appropriate through a participatory process with the entire affected community (this can be done with gender-segregated groups if there is an issue), mapping out the entire chain of necessary behaviours to procure, use, maintain and replace the MHM material to ensure that the community has the resources to use the material safely. Regular monitoring after a new MHM material is introduced is imperative to identify unexpected obstacles or risky practices that may arise.
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MArch I 2011 | Harvard Graduate School of Design
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  • Sophiaj
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Re: Reusable Sanitary Pads

 I am a menstrual hygiene and WASH activist and I promote reusable sanitary napkins, as this is a safe, affordable and environment friendly sustainable products for marginally poor people.
www.repad.in
Repad is a product I recommend, and it is a must try product in reusable, the quality of the pad is superb. 

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  • Carol McCreary
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Re: Reusable Sanitary Pads

www.smartglobalhealth.org/blog/entry/sanitary-pads/ I didn't find the article right away; here is the link. Good article.
Carol McCreary
Public Hygiene Lets Us Stay Human (PHLUSH)
1240 W. Sims Way #59, Port Townsend, Washington 98368 USA

Toilet availability is a human right and well-designed sanitation systems restore health to our cities, our waters and our soils.

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  • KaiMikkel
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Re: Reusable Sanitary Pads

A quick list of menstrual cup and washable menstrual pads manufacturers:

[Of particular interest to those working in Africa, "Miacup" is manufactured in South Africa.]

"DivaCup" (Silicone menstrual cups and reusable pads) - divacup.com/

"The Keeper" (Natural latex and silicone menstrual cups) - www.keeper.com/

"Lunette" (Silicone menstrual cup) - www.lunette.com/

"Miacup" (Silicone menstrual cup) - www.miacup.co.za/
Kai Mikkel Førlie

Founding Member of Water-Wise Vermont (formerly Vermonters Against Toxic Sludge)

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  • RachelTTextiles
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Re: Reply: Reusable Sanitary Pads

Yes, we would like to present these to a wider audience. We are looking at the processes of import and distribution to the various East Africa Countries.

Up until now, we have spent the time to develop a product that overcomes many of the challenges faced by the re-usable sector.

We have sent multiple pilots and are at the practical fact-finding stage of customs brokers and HS Code Import rulings to get these products in at the lowest Duty/VAT rates


We have designed our products (both the Underwear and the leakproof shield to be compatible with other's offerings ie. our leak-proof shield houses an Afri-pads liner. Our underwear automatically come with the shield so existing pad-making operations could benefit from this.

We will have our own brand, but are happy to have our products work in unison with others.

We are seeking Distribution partners/HUB centers so that costs of containers could be kept extremely low, with many smaller organizations benefiting .

We would love to be in Uganda and hope to develop these relationships soon.

Rachel
Rachel Starkey | Transformation Textiles
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Twitter: @EVAWearOfficial

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  • JKMakowka
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Re: Reply: Reusable Sanitary Pads

Interesting. Are you presenting these to a wider audience sometimes in Uganda?

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  • RachelTTextiles
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Re: Reply: Reusable Sanitary Pads

Dear Justice and Others interested in Mass-Produced Reusable Sanitary Pads.

Transformation Textiles, has been in the back-ground of the MHM scene for the last 5 years as we have been working at taking the concepts of FHP (Feminine Hygiene Protection) line of products to a truly mass-produced model.

To ensure insanely low prices, affordable to $2/day income earners, Transformation Textiles (TT) utilizes off-cuts from partner factories, drastically reducing raw costs by more than 50%. With FHP solutions that cater to both disposable and reusable markets, TT kits can reduce the amount girls spend by up to 75% over 3 years. Our current monthly capacity is 20,000 kits. This is easily scaled up by booking more production lines as needed. We have multiple factories on stand-by for when this is need.

TT is sustainable as benefits are realized throughout the supply chain. Major brands (For Western export) benefit from the CSR marketing and environmental message, factories gain realized profit from their waste, and mass production ensures scalability to accommodate container shipments to distribution hubs in multiple countries

Our trials quickly confirmed that without a pair girls couldn’t effectively use any kind of FHP solution with confidence. We have designed a tie-on underwear (one size fits most), that is compatible to both disposable and washable FHP solutions. These underwear have a life-cycle of 3+ years. Each pair of tie-ons is accompanied by a leakproof shield that can withstand 100's of washes, lasting 3+ years as well.

The leakproof shield can accommodate many existing grass-roots designs of pads (or could simplify them in the future as features such as wrap around wings, snaps, velcro are not needed due to the built in security bands of the tie-on underwear. We have taken into account water-scarcity challenges and have developed absorbent solutions that require less water to wash and dry quickly for re-use.

We also offer High Performance Fabrics, that absorb 7 - 8 times that amount of cotton, and dries in half the time.

Our initial countries of focus are Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe.

We are looking at utilizing existing 'last-mile' distribution networks, to keep the cost of our various product offerings extremely low, so that 'last-mile' women can not only afford them ... but could sell them in a peer to peer sales model.

If you would like to receive more information on introductory trial orders of 1000 kits. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Our next container of 20,000 kits will be ready to ship Mid-may 2014. If you need this type of quantity please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Our product offerings of Kits can be customized to suit your needs.

Please view some of our relevant links:

www.transformationtextiles.com (main website)
transformationtextiles.com/media-room/main-gallery/ (to see videos of our process and current impact to date)

Looking forward to dialoguing with so many of you in the future.

Rachel Starkey
Transformation Textiles
Chief Visionary Officer & Heretic to Status Quo

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Rachel Starkey | Transformation Textiles
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Twitter: @EVAWearOfficial
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  • JUSTICE
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Re: Reply: Reusable Sanitary Pads

How then can we access the pads? Emmaus International works with grassroots communities in Zimbabwe and we would like a situation where the rural women can access these. How do go about partnership issues? We are looking for partners to work with in our areas of operation.

Thank you and we are looking forward to hear from you.

JUSTICE ZVAITA (+263 771 630 489)

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

EMMAUS INTERNATIONAL

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  • JRose
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Re: Reuseable Sanitary Towels

Hy Naomi am based in Kisumu and our organization produce Re Usable pads. Unfortunate ours is a controlled product. because we work together with KIRDI. You can check our web www.icarepads.com
for more information. Those group can work as our partners

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  • JRose
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Re: Reusable Sanitary Pads

I work with a certain NGO in Kisumu and we produce Re Usable pads. And many that have used are happy. we have been targeting schools. and are produced in collaboration of KIRDI
You can check our web page www.icarepads.com
or facebook page I Care Pads

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  • GandoLight
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Re: AFRIpads

Hi Penny,

thank you very, very much for this answer. This is an even better solution for the girls in Gando. As we are planning to introduce (or extend, I'm not sure yet, if something like this exists at all) education on hygiene and sanitation parallel to our building ecosan-toilets in the school, it would be great if we could copy your program (may we?) and have the girls make their own reusable pads. Could you get me in touch with the local trainer?

Kindest regards, Peter

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