Perhaps it’s time to make room for another guest in your menstrual-product haven?
Periods are a large part of every menstruating individual’s life. There is no sugar-coating it, and, really, there is no need to either. However, what should bring some discussion to the table is the constant use and high pricing of disposable menstrual products. The most accessible tampons and pads are created using materials, such as plastic, which just ends up in landfills.
According to National Geographic, it is not only the outer packaging we should be concerned about. Everything from the leak-proof materials in the pads to the brightly colored plastic applicators of tampons contributes to the ever-growing piles of non-recyclable waste all over the world. Not to even mention the possible health threats, such as Toxic Shock Syndrome and exposure to a variety of toxic chemicals, using these products may cause.
On the brighter side, solutions are slowly being integrated into our everyday lives. A variety of organic alternatives, period underwear, reusable, washable pads, sponges, period cups… the possibilities are endless. However, these alternatives may sometimes be underrepresented, seem ‘’scary’’ and unreliable, as the society has gotten used to a certain type of period products.
Obviously everyone is different and different products work for different people. Period cups have been around for a handful of years now, but the sheer change in experience can be intimidating for many. This is where nixit enters the picture, presenting itself as not-your-ordinary-cup. For those that are comfortable with using a cup, nixit doesn’t use suction to stay in place, so many people find it easier to insert and remove. It also holds double a traditional cup and you can have mess-free period sex when you are using it, making the overall user experience much more smooth.
In an attempt of bringing some light to a possible substitute to non-reusable menstrual by-products, we had a quick chat with Rachael Newton, the founder of nixit period cups, on taboos, quarantine activities, and life as we know it at this time.
How did you initially find yourself in the business of menstrual hygiene products?
I was looking for a solution to traditional period products as I wanted to reduce my waste. I had never thought to really look into the ingredients and side effects of tampons before, and had always taken them to just be ‘the solution’. I was quite shocked by what I found. When I started looking for a substitute and came across menstrual cups, I found all the different shapes and sizes of traditional cups to be confusing. When I did try them, I always had difficulty creating a seal and getting to stay in place. I felt that there had to be a better way.
Considering this topic still being sort of a taboo within our society, what would be your suggestions on destigmatizing periods?
Removing the stigma and taboo is so important because it enables people to confidently question what they are, and have been, putting in their bodies. This empowers them to make the decision that is right for them. At nixit, we have always believed in breaking down the taboos that surround periods – they are something to be celebrated! One of the ways that we do this is through our Instagram account – we get so many lovely messages from people telling us how it has changed the way that they look at their body – it’s so wonderful to make a difference to people in that way.
Who are you most inspired by on a day to day basis? Could be considering your business, motherhood, everyday life – anything.
These days and during something globally gripping, it’s all the frontline workers who are putting themselves at risk to make sure that we can grocery shop, get to the pharmacy, and, of course, be taken care of if we need medical attention.
How are you coping with the current situation in the world? Could you name 3 activities/things helping you get through this time?
It’s certainly a unique situation and with two small children at home, I think ‘coping’ is the right word! Things that are helping me:
1. Regular exercise – I just try to get 30 minutes in every morning and it sets me up for the day.
2. Staying close to those we love – although we can’t be physically close, my kids facetime every night with their grandmother for bedtime stories and we have weekly calls with friends and family.
3. Sourdough – I have discovered a love of baking sourdough (follow @tartinebakery if you aren’t already) and this has also resulted in a lot of wonderful bread and tasty dishes from my discard (if you know, you know!).
Would you like to share any thoughts/words of wisdom to the people reading along?
On average, you will have 450 periods in your lifetime. We’ve been conditioned for so long to think of our periods as something unremarkable. If you haven’t already, take some time to change that narrative and recognize what an incredible and amazing process this is!
A big thank you to Rachael for her words and desire to push for a new normal!