Anti-plastic tide swells as Reusable Sanitary Pads make waves onto UK High street

Holland and Barrett to start selling Reusable Sanitary Pads brand Bloom & Nora

We have some padtastic news, we are the first company in the UK to get reusable sanitary pads into a major High Street retailer and we are absolutely fluffed to bits. Holland & Barrett have taken the step to offer their customers reusable sanitary alternatives by stocking our Bloom and Nora range in 113 of their stores. This comes after the recent decision by H&B to stop selling disposable wet wipes after the health food firm announced it wanted to encourage their customers to be more sustainable:

Joanne Cooke, Head of Beauty at Holland & Barrett, commented, “We’re thrilled to be listing Bloom & Noras reusable sanitary pads at Holland & Barrett. There is a growing appetite for more eco-friendly alternatives to personal care products so we’re proud to be able to expand our customer offering in this area with some really exciting products such as these.

At Holland & Barrett, we are committed to helping reduce plastic waste, having recently banned the sale of all wet wipes from our stores, as well as working with innovative brands like Bloom & Nora who share this eco-conscious vision.”    

The UK's leading health food store, Holland & Barrett have been "green" for years too, well before it became fashionable. They launched the “Plan it Green” project in 2007 with the key aim to offer products that are not just good for the customer, but good for our planet as well. The project focused on four key areas; Care and Responsibility; Climate change; Waste and Staff Initiatives. The project is delivering, not only were Holland & Barrett the first retailer to commit to having no plastic bags in store they are also committed to sourcing 95% of their products within the UK to minimize their carbon footprint, and it’s clear their customers like it as their sales continue to grow year on year.

At TotsBots we have been designing and manufacturing reusable nappies since 2000 but decided to expand the product range and create reusable sanitary pads brand Bloom & Nora in 2016. It’s not a big leap for us to move into sanitary products after successfully making award-winning washable nappies for so long, the tried-and-tested high-performance fabrics are similar but our director, Fiona Smyth’s motivation to create the brand clicked in when her daughter started her periods. She explains:

“Even though disposable pads are a plastic waste issue and take hundreds of years to degrade, the chemicals in pads and tampons were actually my biggest trigger. It wasn’t until I read an article mentioning dioxins and carcinogens in the same sentence as pads and tampons, that I decided it was time to do something about it.”

Constantly innovating the team here at TotsBots have become experts in fabric technology, component quality and manufacturing methodology. We have taken everything we have learned over the years to create the new reusable sanitary pad range. With the emphasis on comfort, performance and durability, we ensured the pads were Oekotex certified at the outset and therefore guaranteed to contain no irritating or harmful chemicals in them, or more importantly next to skin. With a huge list of potential product testers many of whom were many loyal TotsBots mums we created two core products:

  • Bloom pads – Natural Bamboo next to skin, in a range of bold colours
  • Nora pads – Stay dry, stain repellant, in simple bright white
  • Each pad comes in 4 sizes/absorbency levels – Mini, Midi, Maxi, Mighty
  • Accessories  - Waterproof Bathroom storage bag & Waterproof Wet/dry out and about bag

Holland & Barrett are testing the water with our stay-dry reusable pads range as we felt this is the pad style that’s most likely to convince customers in-store to give them a go, especially as the main concern that people have is “How do I wash them?” and “Will they wash ok?” All that’s needed for them to come up bright and clean month after month is a quick rinse under the cold tap and stored in a waterproof bag until it's time to wash with the rest of your knickers”

We are absolutely delighted to be supplying Holland & Barrett. This is exactly the right time for retailers to be getting on board with reusable pads. Todays consumers are very eco savvy and health conscious, you just have to look on Instagram and type in the hashtag “cloth pads” to see. And with Campaigners like Ella Daish on the case to end period plastic, the reusable sanitary pads revolution is only going to continue to grow in momentum.

Bloom & Nora reusable sanitary pads will be available in store and online at Holland & Barrett from July 23rd, prices for a triple pack of pads start at £14.99.