The Big Reveal
Welcome to the new period aisle, where products are comfortable & effective, shame is shown the door, and sustainability is non-negotiable.Read more
Welcome to the new period aisle, where products are comfortable & effective, shame is shown the door, and sustainability is non-negotiable.Read more
After 27 years in business, we wanted to build something new, for everyone who menstruates.
A new period aisle, where the products are not only effective, but actually comfortable. Where shame is shown the door, and sustainability is non-negotiable.
Every material in our products has been carefully sourced to provide you with outstanding performance while still taking good care of our planet.
Our line of underwear has been redesigned to create a product that blends sustainability with advanced fabric technology. Our new undies are softer, fit better and absorb more.
We've expanded our size range to 5X in two of our styles to start, with a complete size expansion in all underwear styles to be completed later this year. We’ve worked hard with a leading plus-size fit expert to ensure that our undies fit great the first time and we’re so excited to bring them to market.
We've updated our pads and liners with some fun, gender-neutral prints, but have kept the same high-performance, super absorbent materials, and thoughtful construction - previously known as Performa pads.
We're introducing a medical grade silicone menstrual cup to round out our product range, making us a one-stop period shop. Watch out for our cup launch later this month!
💪 Our values - Our commitment to transparency, sustainability and product safety.
👋 Our team - It's still us!
💯 Our attitude - We’re still 100% committed to kicking the patriarchy out of your period and making products for all bodies
We decided to make this change because we knew, despite our success with Lunapads, that we could build something even bigger and better if we were able to make brave decisions. We’re so thrilled to invite you on this journey with us!
For people who are averse to blood - whether it’s because of a phobia, bad experience, or just isn’t their preference - all of the focus on embracing the bloodiness of menstruation can be overwhelming and even exclusive.Read more
Beth Rich is a queer educator and lifespan doula who works at the thresholds and intersections of menstruation, family-building, pregnancy, birth, loss, and other life transitions. She's a non-binary human who's excited to talk about bodies, periods, birth, and sex in language that holds space for all of us. Discover more of her work at thebethrich.com or on Instagram @thebethrich.
As the period positivity movement grows, we see blood in ads, on social media accounts, and elsewhere more and more frequently. In February, the Unicode Consortium announced that Emoji 12.0 would include a drop of blood emoji, which many celebrate as a symbol of period positivity. Period or menstrual blood is nothing to be ashamed of, and nothing to be scared of, right?
Well, yes. But for people who are averse to blood, whether it’s because of a phobia, bad experience, or just isn’t their preference, all of the focus on embracing the bloodiness of menstruation can be overwhelming and even exclusive.
If that’s you, I am here with some good news. You CAN be period-positive and not love blood.
Here are some ways that you can embrace and celebrate your body and cycle without focusing so much on your menstrual blood.
Cycle awareness. Your cycle is more than your period. Learning about the rest of the menstrual cycle, which includes four phases or events—menstruation, the follicular phase, ovulation, and the luteal phase—can help you understand and even enjoy your cycling body. If your bleed is a struggle, identify other parts of your cycle that feel good. Celebrate when they happen, and use that energy to prepare for your next bleed.
Examine your feelings around blood. Looking into your fear or discomfort may help you better understand what exactly it is about blood that bothers you, equipping you to feel more comfortable around your menstrual blood. Many people who dislike blood or have hemophobia (the fear of blood) say that sometimes period blood isn’t as bothersome or triggering to them because it often has a different color, texture, and smell than blood that comes from other parts of the body. Others have said that taking an anatomy class or learning more about blood and the body helps lessen their discomfort.
Choose language that feels good to you. The words we use matter. If there is language around menstruation that doesn’t feel like a good fit for you, find something else. Some people choose not to use the word “period,” often preferring “bleed.” We’ve all heard “Aunt Flo,” but there are a number of alternatives like “moon time,” “shark week,” or even the German “Erdbeerwoche,” translated to “strawberry week,” that may feel more fitting for you and your body. You can choose language that makes you chuckle, helps you feel powerful, or helps you remember what you value or enjoy about your menstrual cycle. If you can’t find words and phrases that feel right, get creative!
Find period products that work for you. There are a number of ways to collect your menstrual blood, and some are more hemophobic-friendly than others. Experiment and find what feels best for you. It may change from cycle-to-cycle, and even day-to-day on your bleed. Whether you’re into period undies, menstrual cups, cloth pads, or (yes) disposable tampons, finding period products that feel good for your body and mind is a huge act of self-care.
No matter what, you’re not gross. Even if you feel uncomfortable or afraid around your menstrual blood, you’re not gross. This is a both/and situation. You can feel that discomfort (all of your feels are valid!) AND your body isn’t gross, it’s pretty cool actually, as is your cycle. Learning to hold both of these truths at once can help you rock period positivity and be open, honest, and gentle with your blood-related discomforts and phobias.
Every person and every cycle is different. If you want to be more excited about your cycle and period, but struggle because of an aversion to or fear of blood, you’re not alone. By expanding your understanding of your cycle, your feelings, and your blood, you can move towards a version of period positivity that resonates with you. You can appreciate your body and your cycle, phobias and all.
What if you have a mental illness to contend with on top of PMS?Read more
Getting your period can be tough on your mental health. Sadness, frustration, and anger are emotions we typically associate with hormonal fluctuations both before and during menstruation, but what if you also have a mental illness to contend with on top of PMS?
Historically, research on the relationship between menstruation and mental illness has suffered from the effects of stigma. Subjects have been considered “too emotional” in the first place and certain variables, such as race, age, economic demographic, and the presence of outside stressors have failed to be included. Recent data on this topic has been more sensitive to these important factors, although there is still no clear-cut consensus on how hormonal changes can have an effect on pre-existing mental illnesses. This article attempts to deconstruct some of the available data while also offering suggestions for support and self-care.
The relationship between your mental health and your period is determined by several factors, making it tricky to parse in many cases. If appropriate, getting a formal diagnosis is an empowering first step; it provides a framework for treatment options while also giving you an opportunity to become familiar with the ins and outs of the illness. So far, studies have shown there is a definite link between PMS, your period, and the following mental illnesses: bipolar I and II disorder, panic disorder, psychosis, depression, and anxiety disorders. One common denominator researchers seem to agree on is that healthcare providers tend to rely on the diagnosis of premenstrual dysphoric disorder, a serious but relatively rare condition which causes extreme anxiety, depression, and mood fluctuations up to two weeks before menstruation begins. By focusing on the possibility of a PMDD diagnosis, doctors and researchers may actually be ignoring the symptoms of a pre-existing mental illness.
When it comes to self-care and your own mental health, it’s important to do what’s right and appropriate for your unique set of circumstances. Most of the following suggestions offer physical relief, which may or may not relieve some of the anxieties associated with mental illness. If psychiatric help is warranted or welcomed, check with your mental health provider to get their input on menstruation and mental health.
For some individuals, this type of guided breathing can work wonders to ground your thoughts and calm the nervous system—the caveat being that for individuals who are dealing with on-going trauma, PTSD, panic attacks, or psychosis meditation and deep breathing can actually cause a person to dissociate and worsen symptoms (even inducing panic attacks).
Whether you prefer gentle stretching or active poses, yoga can be a good way to relieve physical tension while offering a sensation of control over your body and your mood. Again, be careful with (or avoid altogether) deep breathing and meditation-based yoga if you suffer from any of the above mental health issues.
Cardiovascular exercise has been shown to help with both cramps as well as symptoms of depression or anxiety. There is very limited research on the effect exercise has on mania or hypomania, some individuals find this kind of exercise helpful in terms of actual physical release and the after-effect of tiredness. Other people with bipolar disorder find that this kind of exercise exacerbates their mania or hypomania or even leads to rapid cycling bipolar mania.
Ideally, every person who suffers from a mental illness would have a mental health provider (social worker, therapist, or psychiatrist) who could offer support and guidance on this issue. Like many other countries, mental health services are severely underfunded in Canada and getting help can be both costly and time-consuming. Having support in the form of family or loved ones is important—sometimes just having someone to call or someone to check in on your mental state can be an incredibly powerful coping tool.
The Mental Health Commission of Canada offers a list of Mental Health First Aid resources on their website. Some of the options listed include out-patient services, group therapy, and toll-free hotlines.
The responsibility for reversing our march toward planetary destruction lies at the feet of those doing the polluting. How do we ensure that this happens?Read more
Much hand wringing has been done over the recent UN climate report. You know, the one that gives us just a few more decades before we descend into a post-apocalyptic hellscape? Ya, that one. Its scary stuff, and if you weren't already suffering from global warming-induced anxiety, reading this report will surely put you over the edge.
The immediate response has been to collectively catalog all the ways that individuals can change their personal habits in an effort to reduce their carbon emissions: Eat less meat! Turn down your thermostat! Use reusable grocery bags! It's a kind of self-soothing-by-listicle in the face of an impossible challenge.
I have a problem with this response.
While I will never argue that our personal efforts to reduce our impact on the planet aren't important, the fact remains that just 100 companies are responsible for over 70% of global emissions. Some of the most impactful choices we can make as individuals include cutting meat out of our diet, ditching cars in favor of mass transit and having fewer children. But not everyone can or should make those choices, and even if we all did, the collective reduction in emissions would only be a fraction of what's required to reverse the course of global warming and avoid certain catastrophe.
Doing what we can to take care of the planet is just part of what it means to be a good person. Don't trash your home, don't waste resources, don't destroy that which gives you life - these are values that I think we can all agree are important (right?) But it is not incumbent on us to twist ourselves into knots every time we forget to ask our server to "hold the straw" or stay up nights because we forgot our reusable mug that one time. The responsibility for reversing our march toward planetary destruction lies at the feet of those doing the lion's share of the polluting. So how are we as individuals, supposed to ensure that this happens? What are we supposed to do with all this environmental angst?
Here's what you can do: vote. Vote as if your life and the lives of those you love depend on it - because they literally do. If we're going to keep the planet from warming past the point of no return, we're going to need folks in power who will legislate our way to a sustainable future. The road map is already laid out for them, they just need the political will to follow it.
In the last municipal election here in Vancouver, we elected a mayor who had recently been arrested during a demonstration against the expansion of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline. An oil pipeline that will transport diluted bitumen -a sludgy mix of sand, crude oil and other hazardous chemicals - from the Alberta tar sands to refineries on the coast and in the US. Wanna know how many votes made the difference in getting him elected? 957. Less than a thousand votes got an anti-pipeline activist elected. Other races in our province were decided by less than 5 votes! How's that for individual choices?
So vote! Vote early & vote in every election that you can, because decisions that effect the planet aren't just made in the highest offices. Cities, states and provinces have a huge amount of influence when it comes to things like mass transit, waste diversion strategies and major energy projects. To our American fam heading to the polls today, we are crossing our fingers HARD for you up here in Canada. After all, our fates are intertwined, as are the fates of all of us who share this tiny planet spinning through space.
"You’d ask a CO for pads or tampons, and he would ask you questions like, ‘How long have you been bleeding? Didn’t I give you a pad yesterday? How long is this one going to last?’"Read more
Our guest blogger Mika Doyle digs into the period poverty incarcerated menstruators face every month - and how impossible dignity can seem in that situation.
Imagine having to bargain for menstrual products every month, sometimes having to do things you never thought you’d do to get them. When that doesn’t work, you’re forced to bleed straight through your clothes and sit in your own menstrual blood for hours on end. And the people who are supposed to protect and help you mock you and call you disgusting for a natural bodily function almost everyone with a uterus has. That’s the reality many incarcerated menstruators face across the globe.
In the United States, federal prisons are supposed to provide menstrual products for free, and that includes regular- and super-sized tampons, regular- and super-sized pads with wings, and regular-sized pantiliners. But Senator Cory Booker, who’s been working with Senator Elizabeth Warren to create greater access to the products menstruating prisoners need, told Refinery29 that policies like this are “just words on a piece of paper unless it’s properly enforced.”
That’s why it’s so easy for menstrual products to be used as bargaining chips to gain power and control over inmates, Women’s Health reports. “There’s a constant negotiation with [corrections officers] to get menstrual health supplies,” Chandra Bozelko, a prison reform advocate and writer who blogs about her time as a prisoner at York Correctional Institution in Connecticut, told Women’s Health. “You’d ask a CO for pads or tampons, and he would ask you questions like, ‘How long have you been bleeding? Didn’t I give you a pad yesterday? How long is this one going to last?’”
So even though federal law states prisoners have a right to free menstrual products to ensure they have clean conditions during their incarceration, those menstrual products are still being withheld from them by people who are willfully violating their human rights. And on the state level, access to menstrual products is even worse, with many states putting a cap on the number of menstrual products inmates can receive each month. That’s why Arizona state representative Athena Salman introduced a bill in January 2018 that would provide unlimited menstrual products to prisoners, according to Global Citizen.
Formerly incarcerated people in Arizona testified before a committee of nine men (yes, men) about the 12-pad per month limit, according to Global Citizen. This restriction forces inmates to ration menstrual products, free-bleed, or face unsanitary conditions. If inmates want more than 12 pads, they have to ask a corrections officer — who are often men — or pay for them using their commissary accounts, Global Citizen reports. But, says Global Citizen, paying for extra menstrual products is often impossible for most prisoners, who earn only about 15 cents an hour through prison-provided jobs.
"Bloodstained pants, bartering and begging for pads was a regular occurrence," one woman told the Arizona state House of Representatives committee, says Global Citizen. "You’ve got to really think if you want to sink your whole month’s income into pads.”
In the UK, the Home Office proposed in August new guidelines for police treatment of menstruating detainees to ensure they are treated with dignity, The Independent reports. The new guidelines came after watchdog organization the Independent Custody Visiting Association (ICVA), which monitors the mistreatment of detainees, revealed alleged mistreatment of menstruating people while in police custody, says The Independent. According to BBC News, the ICVA is funded by the Home Office, and it found that menstruating people in Wales and England are often held in police cells without access to menstrual products or facilities for changing or washing. One woman, says BBC News, allegedly had her clothes removed and was dressed in a paper suit without any menstrual protection. "She was left in a state of vulnerability sufficient to cause concern for her wellbeing, bleeding in a paper suit, alone in a cell," the ICVA told BBC News.
Under the proposed new guidelines, police will be required to ask female detainees (there was no mention of transgender or gender nonbinary detainees) if they need menstrual products while in police custody, says The Independent, and police need to make it clear those items are available for free.
It’s worth noting that no one in police custody or who is incarcerated deserves to face unsanitary conditions. Bustle reports that many people who are incarcerated are survivors of violence and poverty. In fact, 72 percent of incarcerated women lived below the poverty line before entering prison, according to the Prison Policy Initiative. And none of these policies on menstrual product access even remotely mention transgender or gender nonbinary prisoners. Incarcerated people are human beings who should not have their basic human rights withheld.
Menstruation is a natural bodily function that should not be penalized or shamed, and menstruators should have access to the products they need — no matter where they are or who they are.
Feminine hygiene was never not a problematic phrase. But in 2017, it feels like a dinosaur walking among us.Read more
The future is period positive. Or, as Chella Quint puts it: period neutral using a positive approach. But to get there, we need to grapple with menstrual stigma — and that means interrogating the language, beliefs and practices that support it at every level.
You might think critiquing the phrase "feminine hygiene" is trivial, but for some of us, it really matters and is connected to larger systems of oppression. Challenging the convention of categorizing menstrual products (and by extension, those of us who use them) as inherently feminine, is just one of the ways some of us choose to resist the biological essentialism that genders our bodies without our consent.
Questioning why shifty, gendered euphemisms are an acceptable stand-in for straight talk about periods also pushes back against coded language that instills shame into our everyday lives.
Here are 3 reasons to say um can you not? to anyone calling period products “feminine hygiene”.
ˈyo͞ofəˌmizəm/ a mild or indirect word or expression substituted for one considered to be too harsh or blunt when referring to something unpleasant or embarrassing.
Speaking openly and honestly about menstruation helps break the cycle of secrecy and misinformation that unjustly impacts so many lives worldwide. To genuinely care for our whole selves, we need to find and support ways to talk about — and really advocate for — our bodies and our health needs without embarrassment or apology.
While euphemisms might make us feel marginally less awkward in the moment, they’re not really a great long term strategy for eradicating shame or nurturing more informed and empowered relationships with ourselves and each other. You might not be conscious of it, but over time, they can discourage self acceptance and reinforce negative thinking.
"Feminine hygiene" doesn’t conceal periods; we all know what it means. But when we defend the term as status quo, or use it to avoid speaking plainly about menstruation, it can have the effect of further reifying periods as taboo or inappropriate to talk about. The culture of silence this feeds isn't good for anyone, and can directly contribute to broader public health concerns too.
Changing the name of a section in a drugstore, or the way a tampon company talks about its products, won't be the final blow that ends menstrual stigma - but it will send a powerful message that periods are normal, okay to talk about, and don’t need to be hidden.
Feminine hygiene was never not a problematic phrase. But in 2017, it feels like a dinosaur walking among us.
It’s rooted in outdated, binary assumptions about sex and gender that uphold cisnormativity by centering cisgender bodies as natural, while simultaneously classifying cis women + trans and nonbinary people who menstruate as unnatural, inherently flawed, or unhygienic. That’s like quadruple the patriarchy.
Because "feminine" means "female" and "woman" in this context, it can be argued that "feminine hygiene" sends a reductive and objectifying message — to trans & cis women alike — that womanhood is defined by genitals and reproductive capabilities.
Transgender men and nonbinary folks who have periods shouldn't have to suffer the same invalidating messages, or feel forced to adopt a label that doesn’t represent us either. Having to walk down an aisle or purchase products labeled "feminine hygiene" can be pretty alienating and emotionally difficult for trans, nonbinary and gender nonconforming people for whom menstrual products are a basic necessity. This kind of experience is really representative of other barriers trans and nb people face in a world that’s not designed to accommodate the complexity of our bodies and identities.
Calling menstrual products "feminine hygiene" may seem like small potatoes, but the implications behind it - that the functions of your body determine your gender and who you are - can contribute to trans people avoiding doctors who may not understand their health needs, or being denied service outright when they do try to access medical care.
After the passage of the 1873 Comstock Act in the United States, which made it a federal crime to distribute or sell conception-related materials, the birth control industry coined the term "feminine hygiene" to re-brand their products.
Over time, this term evolved to refer to menstrual products instead, illustrating how products and services related to birth, birth control, and menstruation have historically (and to this day) been contested and controlled. Feminine hygiene went from describing something that was actually illegal, to describing something that’s sometimes treated as though it practically should be - hidden from sight and segregated to its own private aisle.
Recently, a request was posted on Target’s Facebook Page by the Campaign to Degender Menstruation asking that they consider changing the category description on their website from Feminine Products to Menstrual or Period Products. A totally reasonable request, and worth a shot given Target's history.
In 2015, Target started phasing out gender-specific product categories and switching to gender-neutral displays, saying "we never want guests or their families to feel frustrated or limited by the way things are presented".
A year later, Target issued a Stand for Inclusivity statement in response to legislative proposals mandating that transgender people use the restroom that reflects what’s listed on their birth certificate, rather than that which corresponds with their gender. In the statement, Target reaffirmed their support of the Federal Equality Act, which provides protections to LGBTQ folks and opposes action that enables discrimination.
They further demonstrated their commitment to inclusion by explicitly welcoming transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room that works for them.
I support this campaign's request 100% and hope Target will continue their inclusion efforts by introducing gender-neutral, non-euphemistic labeling of menstrual products in their stores. Other companies and brands should step up to do the same, and I totally encourage anyone who cares about this issue to speak out about the changes they want to see. Even if you're initially dismissed or met with confusion or resistance, know that your voice matters, and that together we're laying the groundwork for progress to come.
Update: Target removed this call for more inclusive language from their Facebook page shortly after this post was published. I reached out to Target's social media team for comment but didn't get a response. It's frustrating and disappointing, but par for the course for those of us working to build a more inclusive menstrual (etc) health space. Cis allies, we need you to take up the fight too - please support your trans and nonbinary friends who are trying to carve out some space in this world. It's not easy, and we can't do it alone.Related Articles
Plastic isn’t just filling garbage cans. It’s endangering life on this planet.Read more
Plastic is a fact of everyday life. No matter how #plasticfree your lifestyle is, we are all, at some point, using plastic - and it makes sense. Plastic is durable, waterproof and affordable. It can come in a variety of incarnations - clear plastic sandwich bags, brightly-coloured children’s toys and industrial tools. Consumers buy plastic every week - in food packaging, cleaning supplies and in the personal care aisle. They buy them every time they pick up a bag of conventional disposable pads and tampons.
Disposable pads and tampons are minefields of plastic. A standard tampon not only can have a plastic wrapper and applicator, but the tampon itself often contains polyester in the wadding and string itself. The average menstrual pad is estimated to be nearly 90% plastic, with the average package of disposable pads containing as much plastic as five disposable shopping bags.
Obviously, all this plastic adds up. Our own estimates place the number of pads and tampons entering North American landfills in excess of 20 billion annually, and it is well-known that tampon applicators litter beaches and pollute oceans. None of this plastic can be recycled. Period products are classified as medical waste, and do not enter recycling streams. It is estimated that these products will take 500 years to decompose - meaning if Queen Elizabeth I had used tampons, they’d still be around.
If Queen Elizabeth I had used tampons, they’d still be around.
However, it doesn’t just stop at garbage. All that plastic has a major impact on our climate. Plastic is primarily made from fossil fuels, and in North America, that means ethane from natural gas, often the byproduct of fracking. We cannot continue to consume plastic at this rate. By 2050, the greenhouse gas emissions from plastic could reach over 56 gigatons—10-13 percent of the entire remaining carbon budget. With current planned expansions by plastic and petrochemical producers, there is no chance of capping global temperature rise at 1.5 ℃. Plastic isn’t just filling garbage cans. It’s endangering life on this planet.
Extrapolating from data collected on plastic bag usage, we estimate that every menstruating human uses over 42 lbs of fossil fuel and 73 gallons of clean water over their lifetime. This requires a ton of plastic that often just gets put in the trash. Our addiction to plastic is strangling the things we need for life on Earth - clean water and air.
Plastic isn’t just filling garbage cans. It’s endangering life on this planet.
Switching to reusable products is one way to reduce your personal plastic use, and this needs to be encouraged on a systemic level (in Canada, only 37% of overall plastic use is in durable products - the rest is single-use plastic or packaging). However, we need new technologies, new systems and new strategies. Overall, we need the political will at every level of government to generate a carbon-neutral economy. Please choose reusables, but also, don’t forget to choose elected officials who support ecological sustainability.
We all use plastic. We need to find a way to use it so our planet will last as long as our trash does.