Today’s blog is period related. So, if you don’t get one, or aren’t interested in their effects, then I’ll see you tomorrow.
For everyone else, there are a few things that I find more frustrating than my period. Bloating, PMS, cramps (oh god the cramps) and the general feeling of being hit by a truck.
I’ve even been told I look like I’ve been hit by one on occasions my a well meaning, er, friend?
They’re just about inescapable, and along with them, you have the usual dilemmas.
Mooncup, tampon or towel?
Do you bother wearing your nice pants on day three or four when things have eased off, or are you going to get a second set of cramps and regret ruining them later?
Do you put your jacket or cardigan on the chair, just in case – and further, do you just feel a bit uncomfortable or did you just…?
Do you eat that doughnut that’s been teasing you for the last half hour in the office kitchen?
Wait, I’m kidding on the last one, eat the fucking doughnut.
As someone who gets horrific cramps (and given I walked around with a broken foot for four weeks, I think we can agree I have a decent pain threshold), and who experiences the joy of heavy periods, this project from Ruby Raut has me pretty excited.
I’m the person who will wear black on a heavy day. Who lives in fear of leakage, of ruining another pair of pants, and who has to wear night time pads all day.
So the idea of period proof underwear? OK Ruby, you’ve got my attention.
Ruby grew up in Nepal where girls use sari rags instead of tampons or pads. They are taught to understand that when they were on their period they were ‘untouchable’ and ‘dirty’, and this concept still stands today in Nepal and in other countries around the world. Girls are segregated during menstruation, periods are an embarrassment and because they’re seen as something to be ashamed of, hygiene is poor, which poses serious health risks. When Ruby moved to the UK, she saw accessible menstrual products are.
This idea of the period being something to be ashamed of is why even in the UK, we still speak of it in hushed tones, give it nicknames, and why so many companies still use blue water to show the efficacy of their product in advertising – and why I love Bodyform a little bit for their period normal campaign.
Ruby tied this need for better products, with her passion for the environment and has created WUKA (Wake Up Kick Ass) Period Underwear. Eco-friendly, washable underwear that’s comfortable, leak-free and hygienic. They’re also gender neutral so anyone who has their period can use them.
Yes, you read it, leak-free.
Ruby is keen to stress the environmental impact: “WUKA underwear could dramatically reduce the amount of waste caused by modern menstrual product products on our shelves today, the average menstruating person uses over 16,000 shelf bought tampons or pads in their reproductive life time.” And Ruby’s research says that almost half of those surveyed still flush their menstrual product products down the toilet, rather than throwing them in the bin.
From my personal perspective, knowing that the mooncup isn’t an option, this would provide me with the security to move from disposable pads to re-usable. Something that I’ve been thinking about for a while, but not felt comfortable enough to do. Knowing that I actually wouldn’t have to worry about leakage, or ruining a good pair of knickers, would be downright liberating.
And if it helps others have healthier periods, then all the better.
If you want to know more, the Crowdfunding campaign can be found on the WUKA website. The campaign ends on 10 December, and I’d love to see this campaign fly.