- Jenica Barrett
GladRags Review: Reusable Plastic Free Menstrual Products
There is nothing quite as awful as sticking a piece of cotton mixed with plastic and bleach up your vagina multiple times a day, for a week, every month. If you haven't already ditched the tampons and disposable panty liners, trust me: Your life is about to be changed! Reusable menstrual products are way more comfortable and produce so much less trash than what you you were using before.
GladRags, in particular, is a brand of reusable menstrual products that I recommend to every bleeding human! I was first introduced to GladRags while living in Portland. As an infrequent menstruator for most of my life, I didn't have a wide variety of reusable period products at the time and was only just beginning to explore sustainable options. GladRags originally reached out to me to ask if I would consider trying their product - to which I readily agreed!
After receiving that first pad, I have gone back to buy many more! If you're looking for a brand of cloth pads that are durable, non-toxic, and made by a company you can trust, read my review of GladRags below!
This post may contain affiliate links for products I highly recommend. A small commission is earned off of any sales through these links.
Cloth pads, menstrual cups, and accessories
GladRags has been making plastic free reusable menstrual products since 1993 in the Portland area. They are a women-owned business that focuses on inclusivity, curiosity, and positivity in the period movement. Each of their cloth pads are made plastic free and shipped in plastic free packaging.
GladRags also designed a menstrual cup called the XO Flo and the XO Flo Mini. If you're new to menstrual cups, you'll definitely want to do a little reading before jumping straight into one.
A benefit of purchasing menstrual cups from GladRags is that they keep their language very gender neutral (as not all people who have periods are women).
Accessories you say? What could possibly be a period accessory?
Well if you're new to cloth pads, you might not realize that it's important to have a waterproof bag with you to place your used pads in when out and about. At home I simply wash them out in the sink or the shower but in a public bathroom, I prefer to take them home with me first.
That's where it's super helpful to have a cute little period bag! GladRags sells bags that have a zipped, water resistant pouch for placing used pads in and an outside pouch with a snap button for clean ones. The cute bag is made with vinyl like fabric making it easy to wash out. How adorable is my ladybug one? I have gotten quite a few compliments on it when friends see me take it with to the bathroom!
"What is that?", they ask.
"My period purse!".
Picking the right size reusable pad
GladRags stands out in the period product world because they provide quite a range of sizes and styles when it comes to pads. I can't speak for everyone out there, but I benefit from a much longer pad to keep any accidental leaks from happening at night. While I go from sitting down at my desk to doing yoga, it's also nice to know I am covered both front and back!
My favorite cloths pads are the Color Night Pads Plus and the Color Day Pads.
Transparency in the manufacturing chain
GladRags is a Certified B-Corp which means anyone can access their public B Impact Report to see how they're helping people and the planet with their business. They specifically focus on partnering with local and women-owned businesses whenever possible to source ingredients, prioritizing organic materials, and use recyclable and plastic free options at every step!
They even pick up their products from their local sewer on bikes to reduce the carbon footprint!
Save money over time
The average person with a monthly period will buy 12,000 - 14,000 tampons across their lifetime. That ends up being a lot of money! Cloth pads on the other hand aren't cheap upfront but can save the user money in the long run.
GladRags' pads sell for $15-25 a piece.
XO Flo cups sell for $35.
If you're new to GladRags, you can use the code NEW2CLOTH at checkout to get your first panty liner free! They also offer 10% off if you buy three or more pads.
Honestly GladRags are hard to beat for me! One downside is that the cost is a little higher per pad than some other brands (by a few dollars). But other than that, I see myself using these lovelies to keep my period plastic free and zero waste for many years to come!
It is wonderful to say that the practice of using reusable menstrual products has gained wider popularity in the mainstream culture over the last several years! There are many companies out there making period products designed to reduce waste, cut down on cost, and make periods a more enjoyable experience for people. If you're wondering which company to try out first, I definitely recommend adding GladRags to the top of that list!