not too long after i started sewing, i discovered RUMPs. The acronym stands for reusable menstrual products. at first i was a little grossed out. why would someone want to reuse something like that? i spent the next month researching it and went from skeptical to convinced. here are my top three reasons to switch to reusables!
1. better for the environment
if you figure that a woman uses twenty tampons/pads per cycle, she will use 240 of them a year(x). that’s a lot of material that is thrown away! these products and their by-products (wrappers, applicators, etc) full of plastic and chemicals end up in landfills where they will take hundreds of years to break down. most commercially manufactured menstrual products contain cotton that is treated with a multitude of chemicals to bleach it and make it usable, which then get washed into our water systems. RUMPs allow women to reuse items and reduce the amount of waste entering our environment.
fact: every woman’s body is different. we all experience our cycles differently. some of us tend to bleed in the front, while others tend to bleed towards the back. sometimes trying to adjust our coverage means using multiple products. with cloth menstrual pads, you can make/buy shapes that work best with your natural menstruation patterns. there are shapes that flare in the front or back to protect you in the direction where you need protection. there are also menstrual cups that have variations that adjust to your cervical height and vaginal shape.
beyond customization for bleeding, there is also an immense, colorful world of patterns and fabric types to suit you! i recently ordered a star wars pad because, well, i could! having things like your favorite characters, animals, etc. on your pads make it a joy to use and change your pads during your period.
along with all of my research, i joined a few facebook groups dedicated to RUMPs. i have had multiple questions answered by the women in these groups, such as how to wash and care for my items, how to store, and what makers/stores to try. these individuals are passionate about sustainable, reusable products and it is a joy to be in community with them over our common experience.
overall, switching to RUMPs has been a positive experience in my life. i have enjoyed sewing and making my own, and purchasing them from small businesses. i love being more environmentally friendly and being able to look forward to something most other people dread.