Bloom & Nora Reusable Pads Padvocate Amanda – A Team Story
We chatter on about you making the switch to reusable pads so much that we decided it was about time we shared our own stories. Meet Amanda, part of the marketing team here at Bloom & Nora. She admits she was a little sceptical at the start, but after a friend recommended switching to reusables, she’s proud to say there’s not been a disposable in her house for 8 years. (So Arja, if you are reading this -thanks for the recommendation!)
Why did you choose to use reusables?
I’m going to be completely honest….when cups and reusable pads were first mentioned to me I was horrified, I couldn’t get my head around how I would manage the ‘mess’ and the thought of putting used pads in my washing machine just wasn’t something I was up for doing. Fast forward a few months, and fed up of constant leaks from disposable tampons, I decided to give the Mooncup a go and bought one with my Boots points. There was nothing to lose and as much as I wasn’t sure, I’m not happy to report I’ve not bought a tampon since.
It took me another few years to make the switch to reusable pads. My cup contained most of my flow and I used disposable panty liners on my heaviest days in case there were any leaks. After having 2 children and a slight change to my internal organs, my cup wasn’t as reliable, and I found I had to always use a pad as a back-up. This was around the time that Bloom & Nora was being developed so I decided to give them a go in the attempt to reduce my waste further. As I hadn’t bought a tampon in 8 years, I was hopeful that I wouldn’t have to buy another pack of panty liners either. Plus, I couldn’t really promote something that I didn’t believe in.
Today I use both my menstrual cup, and Bloom & Nora reusable pads and never have to worry about leaks. It feels good not to have to throw used sanitary pads in my bin every month and most of all, the biggest benefit for me is that I feel clean and fresh for every cycle. I never feel sticky, dirty or uncomfortable like I did with tampons. They have been a game changer.
What do you love about Bloom & Nora?
I love what we stand for as a brand. I love the prints and seeing the pads being made by the factory team makes me so proud. Working on campaigns that promote something I truly believe in and encouraging more people to use reusables is so rewarding.'’
Do you have a favourite print?
My favourite print from the current range is Flirt. I love the contrast of colours, so this print makes up most of my stash.
Are you a Bloomer or a Nora?
I am most definitely a lover of the Nora pad. They wash up amazingly well after just a quick rinse under the tap and a wash in the machine with my undies. I never feel sticky, damp or uncomfortable. I’ve had some of my pads for 4 years now and they still look practically new.
Did you have any reservations to switching to reusable pads?
My biggest reservation was the washing as I wasn’t keen on putting blood stained pads into my washing machine. I’m still shocked that I had that mindset back then as I used to put my underwear in the wash when I used tampons, and I leaked most days. My pyjamas were pretty much destroyed by my monthly cycle as disposables were so unreliable overnight. Putting a pad in the wash is just the same as throwing your period pants or pyjamas in the wash really and I’m glad that I changed my outlook and took the plunge all those years ago.
Do you use any other types of reusable / eco sanitary products?
I now use a Skcoon menstrual cup alongside reusable pads. I actually have a range of brands that I’ve bought over the years but, Bloom & Nora are genuinely one of my favourites and definitely my most reliable period pad. The no-leaks binding gives me that extra peace of mind that no matter how heavy my flow is, I’ll never leak through onto my clothes.
How do you store yours?
I have 2 waterproof Bathroom Bags – one for clean pads and one for dirty pads. They hang in my bathroom ready for when I need them.
Do you use them out and about?
I do. I’ve even used them on holiday, which was a big thing for me. I hated the thought of going back to disposable pads so much that I decided to pack them in my case and see how I got on. It was no hassle at all to use them away from home, and so much more comfortable, especially on the flight!
How do you find reusables v disposables?
I think this is fairly obvious from my previous answers, but I would be so upset if I had to buy another pack of disposable period products. I’m much more comfortable and confident on my period now that I use reusables and I wish more people would be brave enough to put societal ‘norm’ to the side and give them a go.
Did you worry about them being bulky or people seeing them?
I did think looking at reusable pads in comparison to a disposable pad guaranteed that people would see the pad through my clothes as I pretty much live in skinny jeans, but surprisingly they’re not even that obvious in gym leggings. You just need to find yourself a good pair of pants that contour to your bum! The more snug to your bum the better is my advice.
What do your friends / family think?
They think I am a bit of a hippy! It’s a little disappointing that making ethical and environmentally minded choices that aren’t quite mainstream are seen as freaky and a bit ‘odd’. Hopefully as more and more people see the benefits, this will change and using disposables will eventually be considered odd!
Do you have any advice for other who are considering reusable pads?
Firstly, don’t take notice of what other people think, and ignore them if they pass negative comments about using reusable products. It’s your body and your choice. If you actually research what goes into disposable sanitary products, alongside thinking honestly about how your current disposable pads/tampons perform, it would be crazy not to give reusables a go. I expect that most people have leaks with disposables on a regular basis, so my advice would be to look for something better.
Any top tips on using reusables?
There isn’t much to learn, or get right really. Just do it! Pop them in your pants and go about your day as normal. My tip is to used pads in the washing machine after every cycle, then chuck in towels or bedding and wash them as a full load. They always come out fresh and clean.
One thing I actually discovered about the out and about bag is that your clean pads are best kept in the first opening and your used ones in the second at the tail end of the zip…so when you open your bag, the clean ones are in the first opening instead of the used pads, if that makes sense?
Have you converted anyone to reusables?
Can I count everyone who has bought reusables after reading about Bloom & Nora pads on the website or social media?! 😉
If you want to know what all the fuss is about, start off with a trial kit. You’ll get one of each size, and an out and about bag, great for dipping your toe into the world of reusables, and you’ll soon realise that cloth pads are so much better than disposables that you’ll wish you’d switched sooner.