Review: Amy’s Rag Bag (reusable pads)
If you squirm at the word, “menstrual” or “blood” and/or do not possess 2 X chromosomes, you may want to consider not reading this post.
Consider that my warning. :O
If not, forge on ahead! Back when I was in undergrad, terms like “boundaries” and “personal space” were very foreign concepts to me/my roommate. We could literally be lying on top of each other and not feel the need for personal space. (This may be what happens when you’ve known each other for over half your life and share a room with each other all throughout college. Or maybe we’re just special.)
I was told about the DivaCup, and although intrigued by the concept of saving money/the environment, I failed at life at that sort of thing and was/still am uncomfortable with the idea of tampons. Honestly, they are a great concept, last about 10 years and would be great for if you wanted to go swimming and the like. (This is really just a problem with me because I really dislike reproductive organs. The repro unit was not a fun time for me and I am dreading OB/GYN rotations like no other since the birthing lab was already somewhat scarring to me, and let’s just not talk about how I almost passed out the first time I watched a c-section). But childbirth and birth canals are what I have issues with. I can take blood.
I decided to look into reusable pads instead, but the price tag at LunaPads sent me running for my life, so I scoured the internet for alternatives.
I will admit that initially, I was a little grossed out about having to get all up close and personal. Washing something soaked with blood instead of just throwing it out and not having to think about it? Urgh. I feel like that’s probably(?) the standard response/thought process for most, and I definitely get it, but…hear me out!
Assuming you use 2 tampons/pads per day for 5 days, that’s 10 per cycle, 120 per year, and almost 5000 tampons/pads in your lifetime. Under the generalization that the average lifetime menstruation span is about 41 years, if you buy the super-cheap non-brand-name type, you might be able to keep it to ~$25/year, or about $1k in your lifetime, which may not seem like much in the grand scheme of things, but I can think about a billion other things I’d rather spend my money on. $1000 covers my grocery budget for an entire year, just sayin’.
They are super comfortable, and are also really cute and/or pretty. None of these words are adjectives I’d normally use to describe that time of the month, and this is coming from someone who’s been relatively blessed in that realm (no cramps, no PMS, no crazy hemorrhaging–I just like eating a little more than usual, but that’s somewhat of an everyday thing). I rinse/soak them in cold water before tossing them into the washing machine. If stains bother you, choose dark or busy fabrics. They have all sorts of different varieties (size, cloth type, thickness, absorbency, etc.) to choose from, depending on what you need.
- More Eco-Friendly
If we go back to #1 and realize that each female uses a ballpark range of 5,000 pads/tampons (give or take a couple thousand) in their lifetime, that is a crap ton of waste that’s being dumped out there. DivaCup estimates that the average woman uses almost 10,000 pads/tampons in their lifetime. Landfills galore. :[ As a former science camp counselor and an individual with go-green tendencies (I walked/biked/public-transportation-ed everywhere for the first 24 years of my life), it made me really sad to think about this.
Truth be told, there are patterns online and I know how to sew, but let’s face it, thanks to my addiction to taking classes for the rest of my life, I had/still have no time to do such things. So back in July of 2011, I placed an order at Amy’s Rag Bag, and I have not looked back since.
According to the internets, she recently moved and is getting settled back in. I’m not sure if she’s still making/selling them, but that sampler set has lasted me til now and it’s still going strong. Save for 1-2 instances where I got “surprised,” I have not used a disposable pad since then. She has a unique way of sewing a tab in so that there are no snaps or velcro, which means that she can use completely re-purposed fabric and nothing else (well, that and thread). You can “stack” them depending on your needs. Possibly TMI, but I was wearing one while I was a demo girl for Platinum Stages/Twirly Girls at the SJ Fitness Expo a couple years ago, and no one noticed.
Since I can only speak for Amy’s Rag Bag, I’ll leave you with a couple links:
This is the most extensive list of cloth pad reviews I’ve found.
- Where to Find Them
Etsy has a ton of em’ for sale. (Google would probably also be helpful.)
Patterns & instructions on how to make your own.
I’m interested in getting some new ones, not because I really need them, but because I’ve seen some prints that are super cute/I definitely wouldn’t mind owning. >_> That’s all I’ve got for today! Hope I haven’t forever scared you away!
Disclaimer: I was not paid or compensated in any way for this review. All opinions are my own!