It’s a menstrual showdown, a toss-up between two seemingly so similar yet so different options – disposable vs reusable pads!
Yes, reusable pads!
In just the last few years, reusable pads have rocketed in popularity. They work the same way as disposable pads, but you wash them instead of throwing them away.
Reusable pads are more-than-worthy of serious consideration, so let’s move on and compare disposable vs reusable pads!
Pro: Save Money
Periods are (unfortunately) expensive – especially when you use disposable pads. According to Statista, the average monthly spend on sanitary products, including disposable pads, in the UK (in 2015) was £13.
Times that by the 12 months of the year for £156. That still might not seem like it breaks the bank, but over 30 to 40 years you’re talking about £4,500 to £6,000!
Reusable pads can last for 5 to 10 years at a stretch, so long as you look after them and wash them properly.
If an average pack of reusable pads costs around £30 then you’re talking about under £200 worth of spend compared to £4,600.
By switching to reusable pads, you can literally save over £4000, which is pretty amazing!
Pro: Better for the Environment
The National Geographic reported that the average menstruator can use some 5,000 to 15,000 pads in their lifetime, and that these usually end up in landfill, or pollute the oceans.
Reusable pads virtually reduce these stats to zero. By using reusable pads, you can go from contributing some 15,000 pads to landfill over a lifetime to none – it’s a huge difference that cannot be understated.
Pro: Sensitive to your Skin
Disposable pads are often filled with synthetic ‘stuff’, and half the time we often don’t even know what! Disposable pads have been likened to a ‘ticking health time bomb’ since some high-profile studies found they contained toxic and even potentially carcinogenic chemicals – it’s pretty awful to think that you’re exposing yourself to 15,000 of these over your lifetime.
Contrastingly, reusable pads typically use additive-free, organic cotton and other natural fleece materials. It’s a real breath of fresh air and a sigh of relief that you’re not exposing yourself to harmful chemicals every time you menstruate.
Pro: Help Women in Need
Reusable pads are a sustainable alternative to disposable pads and they cost less in the long-term.
Disposable pads keep women in the pockets of global brands – reusable pads break this trend and empower women with a product they can rely upon for years to come.
Trade for Aid is committed to donating one packet of reusable pads for each one you purchase from us. All other profits are reinvested into helping women in need.
Con: They’re a Hassle to Use
Many women and girls assume that reusable pads are a pain to use and maintain. This is partially true, as you will be responsible for washing the pads. But it’s pretty much the same as washing any clothes anyway, and will occupy just moments of your time.
Con: Aren’t they Unhygienic?!
Whilst it might seem counter-intuitive to reuse a product that has been exposed to blood, it’s not a hygiene issue. So long as you wash your pads correctly, dry them properly and store them well, they’re absolutely safe to reuse.
Pro: Easy and Reliable
The reason most women and girls still use disposable pads and not reusable ones is because of the convenience factor. Once you buy a pack and use the pad, you throw it away – job done! Most shops sell them (in the UK), so when you’re running low it’s pretty easy to restock.
Pro: Lots of Options
There are so many options when it comes to disposable pads – too many, you could argue! Whilst offering many products primarily benefits the companies marketing the products, this does offer women some flexibility also.
Pro: Cheaper Upfront Cost
Reusable pads do require an upfront investment, usually the cost of two or three packs. Disposable pads can be purchased as and when you need them, each and every month. Disposable pads may seem cheaper but this is just a short-term illusion – they’re definitely more expensive in the long run.
Con: Ongoing, Long-Term Costs
We’ve already covered this, but disposable pads cost more in the long run – of that there is no doubt whatsoever! £4,500 to £6,500 is nothing to be sniffed at and will probably surprise many.
That’s the cost of a luxury holiday, a decked out wardrobe, a new kitchen or even a second-hand sports car!
The cost of period products is a huge issue for women and girls around the world and is a major contributor to period poverty.
Con: Probably Bad for You
Let’s face it, disposable sanitary pads are probably bad for you. We just don’t know how bad, yet.
Disposable pads are largely manufactured by big pharma and other companies that don’t exactly have glowing humanitarian records. Money is the aim of the game for them, not female health; periods provide them with a reliable supply of cash!
Disposable vs Reusable Pads: The Winner Is?!
You already know who we think the winner is!
But you can now see why women, girls and charities/NGOs around the world are advocating for reusable pads.
These aren’t made up facts – the benefits of reusable pads are real and making the switch is easy!